Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports:
Detroit’s Damien Wilkins says Pistons have “indicated’’ they’d like him to return next season and he wants that. “They indicated they want me back but we’ll see what happens,’’ said Wilkins, a free agent this summer. The guard says he wants to remain with the Pistons “as long as they want me here.’’
The Pistons aren’t typically the type to BS their players about this, so if they told Damien Wilkins they have some desire to bring him back, they probably do. But this is far from certain. As Patrick reminded me, Joe Dumars said the same thing about Tracy McGrady last season.
If I had to guess today, Detroit won’t re-sign Wilkins, whose one-year contract expires at the end of the season.
The Pistons have 10 players under contract for next season, three 2012 draft picks and the rights to Kyle Singler. Jason Maxiell could opt out, and at this point, I’m assuming Detroit will amnesty Charlie Villanueva, but that still leaves little margin to use a roster spot on someone as limited as Wilkins.
I appreciate what Wilkins has brought the team as a veteran presence who plays solid defense with great effort, so I see and understand the desire to keep him. But by drafting, using the mid-level exception, signing Singler and/or switching Jonas Jerebko’s primary position, the Pistons can probably nab a backup small forward who’s more capable of someday taking over for the aging Tayshaun Prince. At that point, as good as the idea seems now, letting Wilkins walk will likely make more sense.