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Why Teams are Relunctant to Trade for Tayshaun Prince

January 27th, 2013 at 4:07 PM
By Phil Fattore

Tayshaun Prince will likely not be moved from the Pistons, but that doesn't mean Joe Dumars won't be fielding trade deadline phone calls about the veteran small forward. There are contending teams that could use Prince to bolster their half-court offense and solidify their defense. Teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Golden State Warriors, and even the Houston Rockets have been suggested as potential teams to acquire the 32 year-old forward. Whether or not the Pistons would consider a trade, teams looking at Prince should be careful as adding the veteran might be more a long-term problem than an immediate solution. 

The problem is that Prince is still playing big minutes (32.5 per game) in his 11th season in the league and will turn 33 next month. That isn't to say he's washed up. In fact, thanks in large part to Prince, Pistons small forwards have a PER 1.8 points higher than their opponents this season, according to The problem is that Prince is guaranteed $7.23 million next season and $7.70 million in 2014-15 (when he turns 35), which is a lot of money to be wrapped up in a veteran who has logged a ton of minutes in his career and has seen his scoring (11.9 PPG) dip to its lowest point since the 2003-04 season.
All the points made against acquiring Prince are valid cons in the typical GM thought process. While Prince would help any team, having to pay out more than $7 million for each of the next two years is a scary thought. In addition to the salary concerns, the Pistons still highly value Prince's "glue guy" quality. Joe Dumars may be thinking that more pressing needs (shooting guard) can be addressed if Prince is kept in the fold for the next two years. While getting a first-round draft pick for Tayshaun Prince would be good enough for this writer, the Pistons have reportedly "never discussed" trading the lone hold-over from the 2004 Championship team; in addition, the price tag for Prince might be higher than rival GMs would like. 
Put it all together and you're left with a player that the Pistons don't seem willing to part with, and one that teams around the league most likely aren't willing to trade for in February.  
Tags: Basketball, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, NBA, Tayshaun Prince

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