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Pistons could still trade Richard Hamilton to Cleveland Cavaliers – this season

As the Feb. 24 trade deadline approached, the Pistons had a deal in place that would have sent  Richard Hamilton and a lottery-protected 2012 first-round pick to to the Cavaliers for a second-round pick. An instant fix to Detroit’s problems? Not even close. But to Pistons fans leery of Hamilton’s sulking and of the $21.5 million his contract guarantees him the next two seasons, it would have been a step in the right direction.

Obviously, no trade happened as the trade deadline came and went. But don’t give up hope. (Or if you’re thrilled Hamilton is getting a second chance in the rotation, brace yourself.)

As Larry Coon explains, the trade hiatus ends before the playoffs end for all but two teams:

92. What is the trading deadline?

It is the date during the season after which trades are prohibited. It is defined as the 16th Thursday of the season. The prohibition on trades lasts until the day following the team’s final game of the season

For the Pistons and Cavaliers, that will be April 14. I don’t know whether the teams and Hamilton will resume talks at that point, but I’ll be disappointed if they don’t.

Let’s look back at Detroit’s and Cleveland’s basic motivation for making the deal that almost was:

The Pistons didn’t want Richard Hamilton’s salary on the books, didn’t want to pay his buyout themselves and didn’t want his attitude on the team. They were willing to give away a protected first-round pick to dump him.

The Cavaliers’ were willing to pay Hamilton’s buyout and take the cap hit in order to acquire a protected pick.

If both teams agreed to the trade last month, is there any reason to believe their situations will change to the point they wouldn’t agree to it in April?*

Sure, the details would have to be worked out again. Maybe the Pistons will want extra protection on the pick because they had to pay Hamilton the rest of this season. Maybe the Cavaliers will lower their buyout offer because Hamilton got paid for the rest of this season. And maybe Hamilton accepts this time.

Of course, that’s the catch. Hamilton wasn’t on board with Cleveland’s buyout offer last month, so the deal fell apart. But I haven’t seen anywhere that Hamilton specifically turned down the Cavaliers. This is how Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported it:

Rip blew his chance at free agency haggling with CLE

The parties were working with a looming trade deadline last time. This deal wasn’t reported until the day of the deadline, and who knows when Hamilton became aware?

What if he had just a few hours to consider: how much money he could make in each scenario (buyout, no buyout, what his new team would offer for this year and next, lockout, no lockout), the effect of altering his payment schedule and moving to a new city? That’s a lot to digest in a short amount of time.

Without knowing more specifics about his options and the amount of time to consider them, I think it’s unfair to blame Hamilton for the trade falling apart. Maybe, with more time, he’d agree to buyout terms with Cleveland.

For that reason, I think it’s premature to believe these trade talks are dead.


  • Mar 7, 20119:51 am
    by DetSports1


    By my math the 16th Thursday of the season was February 24th which happens to be…you know…the trade deadline everyone else discussing the NBA refers to. How did you come up with April 14th and why do you think you figured out something that no one else has? If there were a later deadline, why haven’t we ever seen a trade after the usual one in February?

    • Mar 7, 201110:50 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      Great snotty response. The point of Dan’s post is just to say that once the season ends for the Pistons and Cavs, which it will on April 14, they can make trades again. The season will still be going on for other teams, but since it’s over for them, they’re free to trade again.

      Seriously, why couldn’t you just ask for clarification without being an ass about it?

      • Mar 7, 201111:04 am
        by DetSports1


        My apologies Dan, I think the Pistons play of late has made me irritable. My reading comprehension sucks.

  • Mar 7, 201111:40 am
    by MagicMan


    Don’t apologize, DetSports1.  For the Pistons & Cavs, April 14th is no longer this season.  The writer’s headline was deceiving, but probably did a good job of drawing traffic to this site.  I got tricked too and will be more careful about reading anything from Dan Feldman in the future.

    • Mar 7, 201112:13 pm
      by Jason


      That’s a ridiculously ignorant response, clearly from someone who never comes to this site. Feldman wasn’t attempting to “Deceive” anyone, he was making a true statement.
      Whether the Pistons/Cavs seasons are over or not is irrelevant, the NBA 2010-2011 season will still be underway. That’s all he was saying.
      How in the world would one’s mind consider that deceiving?? H

  • Mar 7, 201112:26 pm
    by BIG MARV


    I will go foward with the trade if they can throw in either Harangody or Erden cause at least we will have a future big man to work with and he will be on the cheap, dont walk away with just a second rd pick and they will get rip and a future first rd pick too? no way!

  • Mar 7, 20111:09 pm
    by gordbrown


    I appreciate that Hamilton was put on the spot. However … does he not have an agent? Doesn’t his agent have people who can break these things down? Can’t his agent put it in layman’s terms and written out and answer questions on the spot? If not, what the hell are agents for and what do they do to earn the big bucks?

    • Mar 7, 20112:20 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      There’s no exact science to predicting the future, and even an agent can’t do it. What if an agent breaks down the likelihood of how much money Rip will make in each scenario? Rip still must decide where his cutoff is to take a buyout or not. Rip still must decide about moving to a new city. It’s not a matter of Rip needing potential outcomes broken down into laymen’s terms. I think Rip is smart enough to understand that stuff. It’s a matter of weighing your options, and that takes time to do properly.

  • Mar 7, 20112:48 pm
    by LEVI


    is anyone besides me elated to see Hamilton playing for the Pistons again. attitude shmattitude.
    coach q is a bum. let the ownership situation get figured out, then give joe D a chance to reddem his mistakes. and please recall that redeeming mistakes is something that Dumars has proven he knows how to do. he is handcuffed by the ownership situation. – any thoughts??

    • Mar 7, 20113:00 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I’m thrilled in the sense that he gets a chance to rebuild some semblance of trade value. But in general, I don’t think it’s a good idea to invest big money in shooting guards who are not All-Star caliber, so seeing Hamilton (and Ben Gordon, for that matter) get traded wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

      • Mar 7, 20118:50 pm
        by gmehl1977


        Wow did Laser hack into you account and make that comment :0)

        • Mar 7, 201110:52 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          Laser is the world’s biggest ‘play Rip!’ advocate. I’m not sold playing him is the right decision based on his petulance earlier in the season.

  • Mar 7, 20119:05 pm
    by PistonFan


    @Patrick Hayes: I guess everybody forgets that Rip is a three time all-star

    • Mar 7, 201110:53 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      No one is forgetting that. He’s also 33-years-old and shooting 40 percent for the second straight season.

      • Mar 8, 20113:12 am
        by gmehl1977


        I guess some people feel it is there duty to stay loyal to players on the roster that are former all-stars no matter how bad they are playing. I think once Rip is bought out or traded (highly unlikely) a big weight will be lifted off his shoulders. He is definitely not worth what he is earning now but he did however earn it when he was previously being under paid. I also think Rips stats will jump from where they are now with a fresh start in the right situation. The guy will play well into his late 30s like Reggie did.

  • Mar 8, 20117:50 pm
    by Realist


    They love you then they hate you then they love you again…….Piston fans for you…..I don’t see Ben Gordon lighting up the stats with his shooting percentage…..Still waiting on an article about Joe Dumars blunders…….I guess he gets a pass

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