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Okay, I have heard some folks around the league say that Rip Hamilton still has value. They look at his makeup and see a Reggie Miller type that will be around and productive deep into his 30s. They see his tireless legs and think that he could help any number of teams.
These are all strong possibilities, and I am not in a position to disagree with the bulk of them.
What I do know is that he needs to get out of Detroit immediately.
So there are scenarios out there that could end up with Hamilton staying in Detroit and being productive. The Pistons could deal Ben Gordon and keep Hamilton. This is possible. But it doesn't fit with the new model of Pistons that the team is looking to produce.
The team wants to be built around high-character guys that want to out work the opponents. Hamilton, while he was like that in the past, has become the face of all that was wrong in Detroit the last few years. Therefore, he no doubt will have to be the sacrificial lamb that purges the team of their past woes.
In a lot of ways, the dealing of Hamilton will be a symbolic gesture to the fans that things are changing in Motown.
It flat out has to happen.
Now, if Detroit is granted a salary amnesty in the new CBA, this could be an easy move. However, I think that the Pistons would be more interested in chopping Gordon's salary in this event.
The best move would be to deal Hamilton. So who needs a shooting guard?
Over and over, I have been saying that Hamilton fits two teams perfectly, Chicago and Utah.
Utah picked up their shooting guard of the future in the draft in Alec Burks, but they could still be interested in a veteran. However, this seems unlikely.
Chicago remains a strong possibility, but a trade would be hard to manage. The only Bull that has a salary that could match up would be Luol Deng, but Chicago probably wants to keep him. They undoubtedly are still interested in Hamilton, but they most likely want to sign him outright if Detroit can buy him out.
Another team that could become part of this mix is Golden State. The Warriors drafted Klay Thompson, who figures to be their shooting guard of the future. However, they likely would love to have a veteran shooting guard in the mix as well. And with the likely trade of Monta Ellis coming any day now, this could be a very different team.
Detroit would be wise to at least inquire about Andris Biedrins. Biedrins is limited offensively, but he can block shots, and is one of the better rebounders in the game. He is tough, athletic and can run the floor.
Regardless of how they do it, Hamilton needs to be gone.