Free agency profile: Rodney Stuckey
This is the 16th post in a series of profiles analyzing a free agent and how he might fit with the Lakers.
Player: Detroit Pistons point guard Rodney Stuckey
Type of free agent: Restricted
Positives: Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe ranks Stuckey among the top of free-agent point guards for a few pretty good reasons. He averaged a career-high 15.3 points last season. He's athletic and can create his own offense. And he showed plenty of improvement in his player efficiency rating, jumping from a 15.62 to a 18.46. Because of Stuckey's 6-5 frame, he'd also be equally suited in helping the Lakers' defense.
Negatives: The main negative points to the fact that Stuckey played for former Pistons Coach John Kuester, whom Mike Brown recently hired as an assistant. Usually it's a good thing to have past experience with a coach for familiarity purposes. But in this case, Stuckey was one of several Pistons players to have flare-ups with Kuester, including Stuckey getting benched and refusing to enter a game.
There are also concerns about his overall game. According to Hoopdata.com, Stuckey proved unreliable in finishing at the rim. His shooting range leaves a lot to be desired considering he's gone only 25.4% from downtown in his career. And he's not really a typical point guard, considering he's assisting on one of five possessions.
Verdict: The Pistons tendered a $3.87-million qualifying offer to Stuckey, meaning Detroit can match any competing offer for him. Even though they drafted Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft, the Pistons indicated that they see Stuckey as part of their long-term future even if the organization plans to make changes after firing Kuester. Since the Lakers don't have a lot of cap space to work with, it would be difficult to land Stuckey.
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom tries to block the shot of Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey in a March 2009 game. Credit: Paul Sancya / Associated Press