When Corey Maggette was traded to the Detroit Pistons for Ben Gordon during the summer, the NBA veteran was unsure if he wanted to continue playing basketball after his contract came to an end, but after he spoke with the Detroit Free Press, we have learned that he has embraced his new role.
“Right now I’ve had a full year recovering and working with (strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander),” he told the Free Press on Friday. “We’ll see what happens.”
Maggette, 33, has not played in a game in 2 1/2 months and has only appeared in 18 games this season for the 23-38 Pistons, averaging 5.3 points and 1.4 rebounds per game, but he has embraced his role as the veteran presence within the Pistons locker room.
“I really do like these guys and they won me over by just how hard they work,” he said. “We have really good guys. From Kyle (Singler) to Kim (English) to Khris (Middleton) to Andre (Drummond) — guys like Brandon (Knight) who is improving with each game. For me it’s good to see that and help them out anyway I can.”
Maggette’s last appearance in a game was on Dec. 15 against the Indiana Pacers in which he made one of seven attempts from the field in 16 minutes.
When Maggette was in Golden State in 2008 he signed a five-year, $48 million deal with the Warriors, but since then he has been slowed down by nagging injuries.
Nobody knows how many options Maggette truly has in free agency, but he has made it clear that he would welcome the idea of coming back to Detroit.
“Another option still is for me to be a veteran for these guys and come back here another year,” he told the paper. “That’s another possibility because we have a lot of young talent here and still need a veteran to talk to, and I know I’ve gained the respect of those guys and I’ll be able to do that.
“We’ll see what happens after that.”
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