Thursday, December 08, 2011

Insanity Returns to the NBA -- Tayshaun Prince Signs With Detroit for 4 Years and $27 Million!!!!!!

If you said to me that Tayshaun Prince (age 30) had a 4 year and $27 million contract, I would tell you that he was very likely to be the victim of the newly-enacted "amnesty clause" which allows teams to cut players and not have the contract apply against the salary cap.

Instead, what I am forced to tell you today is that the Pistons re-signed Prince to this ridiculous deal: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2011/12/8/2621208/tayshaun-prince-detroit-pistons-nba-rumors-free-agency
They did so, despite the other rumor out there that they also signed Jonas Jerebko to a 4 year $16M deal. So, you have two guys -- one of whom is young and one of whom is not. They play the same position. You sign....both!?!? And you sign the older guy to a far bigger deal?
Now, I thought that perhaps I had underestimated the greatness of Tayshaun Prince, so I asked this question -- of forwards between 6'8" and 6'10" who were over 28, who had seasons similar to Prince's year last year, would I sign any of them to a 4 year $27MM contract???
Here is the list of similar-sized forwards who had similar seasons over the past 10 years -- http://bkref.com/tiny/B3yc8. Wow. Would you go 4-$27MM on a 34 year old Toni Kukoc? On a 29 year old Keith Van Horn? On Chris Wilcox? Tracy McGrady? (the last two guys named actually were Pistons last year with Prince -- way to corner the market Joe D.) Donyell Marshall? Monty Williams? I mean, come on.
This is a terrible, terrible signing. Oh, but Tayshaun is a great defender! Since basketball-reference.com has been keeping records of defensive ratings, for forwards who played over 25 minutes a game, since the ABA-NBA merger, only four forwards have logged a defensive rating of over 115. Tayshaun Prince's defensive rating last year puts him in the pantheon of great "defenders" such as Andrea Bargnani, Kiki Vandeweghe, Rashard Lewis, Mike Miller and Don MacLean.
Prince was ranked as the 105th best player in the NBA by the ESPN #NBARank system. That is kind. But even if you accept the claim that he is slightly better than Michael Beasley, do you see an upside to a 4 year deal for a guy who will be 34 at the end of the deal?
The owners spent all of the time on the lockout to turn around and make deals like this?

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