Rodney “M-Rod” McGruder: better or worse than Rodney Stuckey would be right now if you threw him back into the NBA? Note that, for the purposes of this exercise, Stuckey would still have been working out in preparation for a possible NBA return, so it’s not like we’re forklifting a fat, cheeseburger-laden Stuckey off his couch to plop him onto center court. We’re talking about a skinny, 31-year old Stuckey who hasn’t played for a while but is otherwise in good physical condition.
This is a fun comparison because they’re both combo guards who are slightly undersized for the SG position (McGruder at 5’4″, Stuckey at 5’5″), plus they’re both named Rodney, which is why I’m doing this comparison in the first place you idiot.
McGruder hasn’t shown a whole lot in the NBA, but what he has shown has been promising. He started 65 games last season, which is pretty crazy. In fact, out of all the players who started fifty or more games last season, I would say that he is the biggest anomaly on that list (shout outs to Mbah a Moute, Babbitt, Mozgov, and Dellavedova). An undrafted rookie has to be doing something right to start that many games for a team that contended for a playoff seed. He was a very, very low-volume scorer, and in the six games he’s played this season, he’s shooting better but has not improved his shot-taking rate.
Stuckey, meanwhile, had the luxury of being a second or third option on some of those Detroit teams of the late 00’s. There were years where he chucked more shots than he should have. By his time with the Pacers, though, he had toned down the scoring a bit. He only played 39 games in the 2016-17 season and shot a career-low 37% from the field (he had some years in his ‘prime’ where he barely shot over 40%, which isn’t a good sign). You can only assume that he would be even worse now.
This is a tough call. McGruder is way younger and sprier, but Stuckey was a legitimate scorer for at least a few years in the NBA. In no way is McGruder a legitimate scorer at this point in his career. If either of them played defense, I neither know about it nor do I care about it. Obviously, going forward, everybody would take McGruder because he’s way younger, but we’re talking about RIGHT NOW. Not two or five years from now. RIGHT NOW. Who would you take?
I don’t even know. Probably McGruder. But maybe Stuckey. This is hard.