Stuckey is a restricted FA and the ultimate results are a sign and trade; which not only ties up the opposing team money commitment, but opens up a forthcoming chart of aggressive player contract pay- baselines that are higher than normal market values. Owners don't like this sort of business in the street...transparency is not their strong suite. Tay is an unrestricted free agent, who determines the players in the circle. There will be many wanting to play in that circle. _______________ Might there be another direction? For fun: here is a simulated dialog taking place on Feb. 1, 2011. _______________ JD: Lot of frustration out there for the team. Tay: Yea, it keeps building. We rarely smile together, while on the court...that is. And things don't work out, when we do. JD: Things are changing. If not soon, then by this summer. Tay: Perhaps; but for me, I have a different change coming. JD: As certain dates progress, there may be sooner options. Tay: So you are hinting that I will be traded soon? JD: There has been a lot of inquiries. More than Duffy and you will know. For me, a slight problem, but certainly for you, a bigger problem. Tay: How so? JD: I get to pick who has the most toys. Tay: Or, who has the most money to buy those non-leaded toys. JD: Or, the best deal. Even low market teams have dreams, too. It's always the next purchasing chase of someone having the right fit for those red slippers. For others, it's a monetary and quick turnover. Just a slab of beef on the butcher-house-body-hooks. Those slugs will continue to roll along that well-known-chain-line and all that residual blood will be expertly swept down the proper drain. You know the routine. Tay: True...but never forget the tenious comfort of my position. I may not be from the deep south, but I have seen my fair share of slaughterhouses. Of course, we are both a long way from this...yes? JD: Just as long as you never look back. And some things never change. Tay: We are fortunate, we have have options. JD: Speaking of options. I can trade now and you go to... perhaps, a secondary team. It's not the west coast and it's not what I want to see happen to you. Another option is for us to survive this bad stretch and I resign you. This is what I want to do....so? Tay: You are guaranteeing changes? JD: Yes. Tay: And what if you are gone? I mean...then our close bond over the years is gone...in the end...there is nothing but cold winks. JD: I am not going any where. You are still free, come July 1. However, let us look at Plan B. Suppose I sign you for three-four years and you gradually smooth your way out into something else. I still need leadership and maturity on this club. You begin and end with the Pistons, just like I did. Tay: Then you are giving me a direct pipeline... JD: exactly... and this can be different options. You slide into coaching and/or administration. Whatever you feel comfortable with, and I know this will be a big incentive for you to keep going until this next shift begins. Tay: What about Laimbeer? JD: Things will calm down when we get another coach. The old man never would pay for a quality coach; especially after our cheap excursions...and those past problems with Brown and Flip. The new owner will have to pay and there are some good options out there. Could things get worse? Tay: Still, what about Laimbeer? JD: You know, that as long as I am in this position, he will never coach here. Tay: A lot of things have to fall in place. JD: Yep. We both know, there are no guarantees. But we can steer some things in the right direction. For sure, I can make the following happen: first, you don't get traded in the next couple of weeks; second, following the end of the season, I sign you, in proportion to the new contract, and terms of max years. If you get hurt, or can no longer play out your contract, then I bring you in-house as administration. You have the experience, knowledge and intellect to play out as a Piston. The only pressure on your end is that you have to play smart ball: keep your numbers solid and no more obvious rants. Oh yes, one more thing. Just to keep us honest. If you decide that maybe you go along and then it just falls apart...I ask one thing: when you pick your team, you give me the option of a sign and trade. Tay: Sounds interesting, can I think this over? JD: Of course. You have some time before the deadline.