Why the Detroit Pistons Need To Trade Richard Hamilton

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent INovember 1, 2009

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 24:  Richard Hamilton #32 of the Detroit Pistons looks across the court in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the Palace of Auburn Hills on April 24, 2009 in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  The Cavaliers won 79-68.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

If there's one player on the Detroit Pistons in the last six years that you could define as consistent, Richard Hamilton is that guy.

He has led the Pistons in points per game since 2002 and provided much of the scoring on the team that prided itself on defense.

And, even though Hamilton hasn't shown any signs of decline, I'm not sure what was going through Joe Dumars' head when he gave him a three-year extension for $34 million. 

Rip is set to make over $12 million in each of the next three years.  When his contract expires in 2013 he will have just turned 35 years old.

Nobody questioned Dumars' logic at the time, but rather when the Pistons decided to spend $55 million on Ben Gordon.  It is apparent that the plan is for Gordon to be the team's long-term shooting guard, which leaves Hamilton as the odd-man out.

The Pistons have not had the ideal start to the 2009 season.  Hamilton has been absent for two of the team's games, but the frontcourt play has many people worried about the team's potential success this year.

In most cases, I, like most, wouldn't object to having a great sixth man coming off the bench.  However, it has shown in the Pistons' first three games that there is an absence of scoring in the frontcourt.

Charlie Villanueva has yet to break out of his shell and other reserves like Kwame Brown and Ben Wallace aren't known for their offensive production.

If the opportunity presents itself, this team needs to strongly consider adding a scoring big man.  I'm not sure what teams are looking to do or whether there's a market for Hamilton, but if there is, Dumars needs to pull the trigger, because if he doesn't, this season will be just as long, if not longer, than the 2008 season.

Many are pleading for the trade of Tayshaun Prince, and while I'm not necessarily against it, there is no player on the bench ready to assume the role that Tayshaun plays on this team. 

Austin Daye is too underdeveloped to assume a starting role at this point, but maybe testing what the market would offer for Tayshaun in the offseason would be a smart move.

Carlos Boozer is an option that I would consider pursuing this season.  It became known that Dumars was not a fan of the Boozer experience, and while I can't say I know him personally, I sure wouldn't mind having him on my team, regardless of whether it was a sign-and-trade or whether they let Boozer walk at the end of the year.

The financial flexibility that shedding Hamilton's contract would provide is worth the price of admission itself, which is why I am in favor of trading of Richard Hamilton.