I hate to say it, but Rip is on the way out
If there is one thing you can say about Joe Dumars, it’s that he is stubborn.
He refuses to admit Rodney Stuckey is not a point guard. He stands by his decision to give lucrative free-agent contracts to Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva on the very first day of free agency even though the team was already stocked with similar players and no one else seemed to be bidding.
Knowing this, it is doubtful he is going to admit that the Ben Gordon experiment hasn’t worked, which means Rip Hamilton is on his way out.
The team simply can’t work with these two. They play the same position and now that Stuckey is likely moving to shooting guard there is one body too many.
So where is Hamilton going to end up? Here are four potential homes.
Probably not a match here, and no reason to help the Bulls
The Bulls were interested in Hamilton last year and definitely could have used him.
Rip plays surprisingly good defense on Lebron and runs around enough that he might have tired Wade a bit on the other end. The Bulls got virtually nothing from Bogans and Korver so any upgrade would have helped.
The problem with this trade is that Chicago doesn’t have the contracts to match up or really anyone outside of their core that the Pistons would want, plus, why help complete the Bulls?
Omer Asik might be of interest but some things would have to change with the collective bargaining agreement to make it work.
Detroit could use some Love. Come to Detroit! It's slightly warmer!
The T’Wolves don’t currently have a shooting guard on their roster and seem to have an abundance of big men with the addition of Derrick Williams.
And any time you can do business with David Kahn, all the better.
The question is which big man does Minnesota want to trade? It really depends on whether they want to make Kevin Love the centerpiece of their team.
He has one more year and will likely get a max contract. If this is the case they will probably want to unload Beasley. Would the Pistons be interested?*
Maybe, but Beasley is not the kind of big guy the Pistons need. Monroe is a finesse player (although a better rebounder than advertised), who would best be served being paired with a rebounding defender.
Love would actually be perfect, and in an ideal world, he’d be the man. Love may want to test the waters in free agency, or live somewhere that isn’t ice cold and has a chance of winning in the next millennium.
If I were Joe Dumars, I’d invite David Kahn out for drinks and throw a Rip Hamilton package at him after about seven shots of tequila. You never know. This one would require a third team and some poor decision making by Kahn.
*Not going to mention Darko—it's still too early.
Is Detroit willing to forgive and forget? I doubt it.
The Lakers are another team that could have used Hamilton last year.
Steve Blake was so absolutely terrible that the Lakers would have been better off with Kobe playing point and Rip playing off guard.
Here is the question: Would the Pistons be willing to take Ron Artest?
I actually think the fans would grow to love Metta World Peace, even after the Palace Melee.
He’d bring toughness and defense that the Pistons don’t currently have, and it should be a rule that Detroit has one of the most hated players in the league.
The problem is that Artest has an extra year on his contract and isn’t really that good anymore. If the Lakers were willing to throw in another player or two, (which they’d have to anyway), or maybe a first-round draft pick, then maybe Detroit might consider taking on the craziest player in the NBA, but I doubt it.
If there is one thing we know about Hamilton, it’s that he requires a point guard who can get him the ball in his spots as he runs off screens.
Who knows what is going to happen with NO or even if they will have a team after the lockout, but they don’t currently have a shooting guard.
New Orleans has one contract that matches up perfectly and that is Emeka Okafor. Again, the Pistons would have to absorb an extra year of contract, but they might be willing to do it to get Okafor who doesn't come with the baggage of Metta World Peace.
He averaged nearly a double-double last year and would seem to be a good fit alongside Monroe. I think if NO was willing to throw in a draft pick to compensate for that extra year, Detroit might pull the trigger on this one.