Detroit Pistons: When To Know Its Time to Say Goodbye, Rip Hamilton

Matt BernsteinContributor IJanuary 24, 2011

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

Goodbyes are hard. There's no question about that. 

But when that goodbye must be said to a team hero, a player who led that team to a championship, a cornerstone of a franchise, it gets that much harder.

Richard "Rip" Hamilton has been in the news lately as a trade chip in the Carmelo Anthony deal to New Jersey. Hamilton has been riding the bench for the past seven games. Although the proposed deal fell through, Hamilton has become a distraction for this Pistons team, which desperately needs a makeover. 

Despite everything that Hamilton has done for the Pistons in the past, it is time for Pistons management to build towards the future. Hamilton expressed his anger towards the franchise for trying to deal him, which shows that he is not longed to be the shooting guard of the future.

One possible trade location that could work for both teams involved is the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento, with Tyreke Evans as the cornerstone of the franchise, is a developing team looking for veteran leadership. Detroit is a team looking to get younger and move up in the draft. 

The Pistons would receive DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert in exchange for Hamilton and Chris Wilcox. Cousins would provide the Pistons with a young inside talent to build around, along with shooting guard Rodney Stuckey. The Kings would receive Hamilton to serve as a veteran mentor to Evans and Wilcox's expiring contract as a backup power forward. 

Unfortunately, Hamilton's strong career with Detroit has probably reached its end. Detroit fans should not be angry, rather recognize this as a bittersweet moment that is necessary for both parties involved.