In his third season with the Pistons, Austin Daye hasn't taken the step forward he or the team hoped he would, averaging a career-worst 4.9 PPG, 1.1 TO, and .324 FG% in 2011/12. Daye talked to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld about his disappointing year and his role in Detroit going forward.
On his role with the Pistons:
"I wouldn't even say I have one. I'm honest with myself. I haven't played enough to say I have a legit role on this team yet. I've played the games; I've been hurt a lot this season with my ankles but besides that it's just been tough for me to get consistent minutes. That's the answer in itself, I guess."
On the Pistons saying they're still committed to him:
"They did enough by their actions. Saying that they wouldn’t trade me before the deadline or after the deadline. I guess that’s enough confidence within myself that they want me here. I just have to keep working and try to get better and just try to please as many people in their seats as I can."
On the Pistons unexpectedly re-signing Tayshaun Prince, who plays Daye's position:
"He’s back, he’s here and there’s nothing I can do about that. It’s not my job to be dwelling on him. It’s just a fact that I’m going to be playing with him so I have to figure out a way I can play and play with him when he’s here."
On his goals going forward:
"Just be in the right situation where I can get some minutes. I don’t want to see anybody go down or anything like that but people have been hurt so I’ve been able to play some games. Besides that, when the roster is full there’s not a lot of minutes to be had, it’s really a numbers game. For myself, I just have to figure out a way that I can get out on the floor."
Daye's $2.96MM team option for the final year of his rookie contract has already been exercised, so he's under contract with the Pistons for 2012/13. Still, with Prince under contract for another three seasons, it's unclear whether Daye fits into the team's long-term plans. If he didn't, he could be an intriguing trade candidate this summer for teams who believe a change of scenery could help the 23-year-old flourish.