“Rodney has been in the gym a lot this summer,” said George David, Pistons assistant general manager. “He’s been on the floor at lot. He’s really shown signs of endearing himself to this coaching staff and you can just see the spirit in him this summer. More so than at any time that I’ve seen him, Rodney seems to have a determination and a spirit about him, almost to prove something. I think there’s been a noticeable endearing between him and the coaches and you can see it out there on the floor as he’s working now. I think that’ll carry over into the season. Rodney has a chance to have an outstanding year and I really anticipate that.”
While Stuckey might be the frontrunner at the position, Cheeks will have options. Chauncey Billups made it clear that he still views himself as a point guard, despite playing shooting guard the past two years alongside Chris Paul in Los Angeles, and his shooting stroke and big-game aplomb will make him a strong candidate to be on the floor in some capacity in the final moments of undecided games. Kyle Singler started at shooting guard from the season’s ninth game until the late-January trade that shipped Tayshaun Prince to Memphis necessitated his shifting to small forward.
Stuckey, who began his career at the two spot has performed better there than at point guard, where he’s spent a large majority of his time the past few years. A return to shooting guard should get Stuckey back to the form that secured him a hefty contract three seasons ago, though his scoring output will likely go down with the addition of both Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith.