Ironically I was not in the Tayshaun Prince camp a couple of years ago. I preferred Kirilenko while Reke was at PG, because Kirilenko can pass and could have helped Reke run things. Nor was Prince's involvment in the player revolt against their own coach very cute. However times have changed. To whit:
-- we need balance.
-- we need a starting SF who can both shoot and defend with size. A very rare combo in sub star level players
-- we need extra veteran voices, and guys not prone to chucking their own shots off the dribble no matter how big of an idiot their coaches are
-- Prince is averging hsi normal numbers: 12.1pts (.459 .412 .816) 4.3reb 2.5ast 0.5stl 0.3blk 1.1TO
-- Detroit cannot score.
-- Detroit is looking under rocks for a real SG.
-- Detroit now has 2 6'8"ish young kids in Singler and Jerebeko, one a SF/SG, one a SF/PF, who would benefit from having minutes freed up
-- Prince will be 33 this year and Detroit is in full blown rebuild mode looking for youth
On top of which, the salaries are almost identical. In a lot of ways it makes too much sense as a balancer for both teams.
Thornton 3yrs $7.6mil, $8.2mil, $8.7mil
Prince 3yrs $6.7mil, $7.2mil, $7.7mil
-- Detroit gets younger, a pure SG, offensive punch they lack, balances their lineup
-- we get older, a veteran voice, a defender and corner 3pt spot shooting full sized SF, balances our lineup
After the trade we look like:
which looks like a very legit NBA lineup with established pros and talented kids mixed in. Off the bench Salmosn becomes Reke's fullsized backup. Jimmer can come in at "PG" and Salmons can babysit his shaky handle again. We can go Hayes/TRob/JJ/Salmons/Jimmer as the reserves, which isn't inspiring, but is again balanced (aside from the small frontcourt). The only real loser is IT who's abrupt fall from grace is confirmed. We lose youth, but gain a critical glue vet and another veteran voice that maybe helps it come together for a few years. Shots are freed. Roles settled and make sense.