Why the F*@% is Rodney McGruder still a Piston?

This is a question I've asked often over the past year, but with the injury to Kelly Olynyk and the potential suspension of Isaiah Stewart, its become much more relevant.

I have nothing personal against Rodney McGruder. He plays hard on the rare occasion his number gets called and is well known to be a great teammate. Coach Casey loves him for his leadership & positive influence on the teams many young players. However when it comes to the on court product, McGruder doesn't move the needle at all. He's buried on the depth chart as the teams 8th wing option and usually only gets off the bench late in blowout games.

Meanwhile the Pistons have been struggling all season to protect the paint and routinely get out rebounded by large margins. Opposing players are having a field day taking the ball to the rim and getting plenty of second chance opportunities when they choose to shoot from the outside. Our undersized starting bigs with the 6'8" Isaiah Stewart & 6'8" Jerami Grant are fine defenisve players, but the two don't strike fear in opponets when they decide to attack the basket. Backups Kelly Olynyk and Trey Lyles both offer more size, but niether player is known for their defense, shot blocking or rebounding skills. Luka Garza is a 7 footer that Casey doesn't seem to trust enough yet to make him a regular in the rotation or play him meaningful minutes even with Olynyk out.

Would cutting McGruder and signing a FA big off the street solve these problems up front for the Pistons? No. However it would give the team a better oopportunity to play competitive baseketball, the needed depth to get through these injuries/suspensions and perhaps help the team win a few more games. The Pistons could even strike gold and find a useful rotation player for beyond this season like we did when the Pistons took a chance on Christian Wood instead of keeping Joe Johnson.

If/when McGruder is released i'm sure the Pistons would bring him back as a "consultant" or sign him to the Motor City Cruise in the G League if he is goes unclaimed on waivers and/or is not signed by another team. Rodney is getting his full salary regardless since he's on a guaranteed deal. This way he would still remain part of the team and continue to provide his valuable leadership/mentoring skills to our young players.


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