Hamilton has not been great in during his time in Chicago, and his age and injury history indicate that he will not get any better. The best thing for Chicago to do is get what they can for him sooner, rather than later. The Bulls’ management will do just that, for the sake of the team.
It was reported by the Chicago Tribune back in July that the Bulls were trying to deal Hamilton’s expiring contract, but were unable to find a trading partner. They will succeed before the All-Star break.
Hamilton’s first year in Chicago was not a successful one. He had one of the worst statistical seasons of his career, and clearly showed that he is no longer the same player he used to be.
He posted career-lows (other than his rookie season) in points and minutes per game, and he struggled to make an impact after Derrick Rose was out with an injury. Hamilton was expected to provide frontcourt scoring to support Rose and then provide the bulk of it while Rose was out.
However, he was unable to do either. He looked like a very average player during his first year in Chicago, and the Bulls are not looking for average at that position.
At 34 years old, Hamilton looks like he is trending in an opposite direction than the rest of the Bulls’ roster. This is a young team, at least in its principal parts, which does not bode well for a player like Hamilton staying on the team.
Rose, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah are the young nucleus of this team. Hamilton and Carlos Boozer are both players who really do not fit into the athletic brand of basketball defined by that young core group.
Don’t get me wrong, Hamilton has been very athletic during his career, but that ability is leaving him as he ages. He just is not the same Rip that he was seven or eight years ago in Detroit. Unfortunately for him, that old Rip is the type of player the Bulls really need.
Let us not forget that Rose will be gone for a large portion of the season. While the Bulls look good enough to win consistently without him, they have experienced a large amount of roster turnover in the offseason. If they are unable to win without him, they will be looking to trade away pieces at the trade deadline.
Hamilton will be the first piece the Bulls try to trade, especially in that situation. He is the most expendable piece on the Bulls’ roster that still has intrinsic value to other contenders. While he is clearly not a starting shooting guard anymore, he could be a very solid bench player for a contender.
Hamilton was a good player in Detroit, and even won a championship. However, his time in Chicago has been a failure. He has not provided what the team needs. His age is catching up to him. A lack of team success will increase his chances to be sent out of town.
Neither his flaws nor the team's needs will change. That is why the Chicago Bulls will part ways with Hamilton by the 2013 All-Star Break.