(Update: It’s official, Pistons have re-signed Stuckey.)
Yahoo! Sports reports:
It’s a… well, it’s a move for the Pistons. It’s a matter of two extremes. Let’s do “One Hand, Other Hand.”
On One Hand…
He’s a 25-year-old combo guard who had an 18 PER last season, a career year (total coincidence that it was a contract year!) and upped his assists to six per game. He’s reliable with good handle and a low turnover rate. He’s been with Detroit his entire career and the contract serves to reward a good player who has stuck with the team. He’s still got upside and has started to establish himself as more of a leader. He’s got the ability to defend two-guards and can operate as a combo guard next to Brandon Knight. Young player with above average PER for less than $10 million per year = good.
On The Other Hand…
He had his career year in the most disastrous season in recent memory for the Detroit Pistons. He was part of the veteran revolt in the locker room last season and despite my feeling that John Kuester had as much to do with that as the veterans, it’s not a good example to set. He can’t shoot, topping out at 44 percent last season with a 28 percent mark behind the arc and a .455 effective field goal percentage. He’s a point guard who doesn’t have the speed or vision of a point guard, a two-guard who doesn’t have the scoring ability of a shooting guard. He clogs up the rotation for Brandon Knight and Will Bynum and for that money, is clearly an established part of their future. The Pistons need to move forward, to move on from the mid-00’s run that netted them a championship and umpteen bajillion Eastern Conference Championship appearances in a row. This keeps them planted in that era, along with the 3-year deal for Tayshaun Prince.
Stuckey might continue to improve and this could look genius. Or he could serve to only hold back Knight and complicate the rebuilding process.
It’s a mixed move.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.
Stephen Curry might be back sooner than expected. It’s been one week since he suffered the sprained MCL in his right knee that led the Warriors to rule him out for at least two weeks, but head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday that there’s at least an outside chance he could play Tuesday in Game 2 of Golden State’s second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Via ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
Obviously, the smart money is on Curry not playing this early in his timetable. But the fact that it’s even on the table would seem to indicate that, barring a setback, he’ll be back for at least some of the series, which tips off Sunday.