Pistons Mailbag - Monday, March 12, 2012 - Page 2

Pistons.com editor Keith Langlois answers your questions about the Pistons and NBA. Click here to submit your questions - please include your name, email address and city/state on the form. Return to the Mailbag homepage.

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Mark (Romulus, Mich.): Am I the only one who does not want to see Stuckey traded? I feel that Stuckey and Knight are starting to develop a really good chemistry and I think it would be a mistake to move either one.

Langlois: I’m not getting any “trade Stuckey” traffic, Mark, and there is no reason to believe the Pistons would want to do that. There might be some buzz to that effect elsewhere, but it hasn’t come past me. I’d be surprised if the Pistons were talking about trading him, but not surprised at all to find out other teams were interested. He’s playing at a high level, scoring efficiently, and he’s getting to the basket and the foul line at a rate that makes him a valuable commodity. He’s capable of guarding three positions and doing it well. And you can put the ball in his hands late in games and know he’ll knock down more than 80 percent of his free throws. Lots of playoff teams would love someone like that.

Frank (Canton, Mich.): Is Rip Hamilton’s contract still affecting the salary cap?

Langlois: Yes. Not sure exactly how much. It’s been estimated that he counts $5.5 million this season and next against the cap. Whatever the real figure might be is derived by taking whatever amount Hamilton and the Pistons agreed to and divide by two. So if they settled on $11 million – Hamilton had about $21 million guaranteed, minus the prorated portion of the season that was lost due to the lockout – then the $5.5 million figure is accurate.

Jack (Kitchener, Ontario): What would it take to swipe Iman Shumpert from the Knicks? I think he can be a very special player and quite possibly an elite defender.

Langlois: The Knicks have a ton of depth now, adding Baron Davis and J.R. Smith since the start of the season. Any trades the Knicks make, one would think, would be deals that ship multiple players away for a better player. They like Shumpert, but I’m sure they’d throw him into a deal if it got them a star in return. The question really is: What do the Knicks plan to do after the season with players like Smith and Davis. If they don’t view them as long-term solutions – and I don’t think they should – then it would be foolish to deal Shumpert unless it brought back someone for the long haul, not just a playoff run. It’s tough to say what they’d want from the Pistons, though. They’ve got Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony up front and they’re pretty happy with Jeremy Lin at point guard – or at least they were a week or so ago. Unless you’re talking about a multi-team trade, it’s hard to see the Knicks dealing Shumpert to the Pistons.

Eric (Livonia, Mich.): I see two potential stars in this year’s draft, Anthony Davis of Kentucky and Jeremy Lamb of UConn. If the Pistons can get Davis, would it make sense to amnesty Villanueva; of if the Pistons can get Lamb, would it make sense to amnesty Gordon?

Langlois: Truly believe the decision on whether to exercise the amnesty clause will be made independently, largely, of the draft. Free agency would be the bigger determinant in whether or not the Pistons decide to use the amnesty provision this off-season or hang on to it for possible future use. As an aside, I don’t think you’d find many scouts who agree that there are only two future starts in this draft or that Lamb, necessarily, is the No. 2 prospect.

Jeffrey (Flagstaff, Ariz.): Do you think the Pistons would be willing to trade Austin Daye for J.J. Hickson? Both players have shown promise but have vastly underperformed this year. Plus, the trade would address a need for each team.

Langlois: Hickson certainly has an NBA body and the athleticism to be a frontcourt impact player. Why hasn’t he been able to carve out a niche in spite of what he has to offer? There were rumblings out of Cleveland that he simply couldn’t grasp the playbook. The Pistons would entertain offers for Daye, as they would for virtually everyone. Will the fact Daye has been in a season-long slump affect his market value? More than likely, but as I’ve written before, it only takes one GM who believes in Daye’s future to get the ball rolling.

Jens (Cologne, Germany): Would it be technically possible under the new CBA to use the amnesty rule on a player to reduce the salary cap but then re-sign the player at a bargain price?

Langlois: Nope. If you use the amnesty clause on a player, you can’t re-sign him during the term of the contract on which you apply the amnesty. So if a player is signed for two seasons beyond this one and a team uses the amnesty clause this off-season, he could not play for that team again until the 2014-15 season.

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