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Many thoughts on trading Richard Hamilton and No. 8 to the Cavaliers

As simple as the reported Pistons-Cavaliers-Timberwolves trade appears for Detroit – Richard Hamilton and the No. 8 pick to Cleveland for essentially nothing – the ramifications are fairly complicated. Let’s try to sort through them.

Creating cap room

The first question that comes up about the trade typically involves cap space.

The new Collective Bargaining can change any of these rules, but for now, I’ll evaluate using the current rules.

Without Hamilton, the Pistons would have $34,573,920 committed for 2011-12. That covers seven players – Ben Gordon , Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, Will Bynum, Greg Monroe, Ben Wallace and Austin Daye.

Nearly everyone wants to keep Jonas Jerebko, so Detroit wouldn’t renounce him. His cap hold will be $1,059,293. (The Pistons could, and hopefully would, wait to sign him, because his first-year salary would likely exceed his cap hold. Basically, they’d sign all their other free agents first, then go over the cap to keep Jerebko.) That brings Detroit’s payroll to $35,633,213.

If the Pistons plan to pursue other teams’ free agents, they’d likely have to renounce Tayshaun Prince, Chris Wilcox, Tracy McGrady and DaJuan Summers and release Terrico White, whose contract is fully unguaranteed if waived before July 19, 2011.* The Pistons could sign-and-trade Prince, but they’d have to do so before signing other free agents, because he’ll count at least $11 million against the cap until he signs with any team or the Pistons renounce him. Also, any salary acquire in a Prince sign-and-trade would count against the cap.

*The lockout could prove to be a boon for White. July 19 could easily come and go during a time when teams can’t conduct business. Unless terms for players like White are specifically written into the next CBA, I’d presume his 2011-12 salary would become guaranteed. Maybe the Pistons will be proactive and release him before June 30, when the current CBA expires.

That leaves Rodney Stuckey, whom I’ll address shortly.

The minimum roster size is 12. With eight players (seven under contract and one, Jerebko, who will count as a roster spot), the Pistons would also have three roster charges ($490,180 each) to get to 11.* That puts their salary at $37,103,753.

*I know the Pistons have two second-round picks. Their hold on the salary cap, for all intents and purposes here, is identical to a roster charge.

So, what about Stuckey? The Pistons could renounce him, accept another roster charge and have just $37,593,933 in committed salaries. But as long as they want to retain the right to match a contract he signs elsewhere, he’d count against the cap $8,301,378. Or, if Stuckey signs with Detroit, he’d count for his first-year salary (which hopefully be less than his cap hold).

It all becomes a question of timing (unless the Pistons just want to lose Stuckey, regardless, which seems unlikely) .

Let’s say next year’s salary cap is identical to this year’s ($58,044,00). With Stuckey’s cap hold, the Pistons would have $12,638,869 to sign free agents in addition to Stuckey and Jerebko. They could boost that number to $20,450,067 by renouncing Stuckey and the right to match offers he signs with other teams.

Here’s where the timing issue gets complicated.

Many, myself included, think Detroit could sign Stuckey to a reasonable offer by waiting for other teams to offer him first. But if the Pistons want to use that strategy, he counts $8.3 million against the cap in the meantime.

If Stuckey signs an offer sheet with another team before other free agents the Pistons are targeting sign, they could be left with nobody if they don’t match Stuckey’s offer.

What happens if the Pistons renounce Stuckey to sign another restricted free agent (e.g., DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gasol and Greg Oden) and the other restricted free agent’s team matches? Teams can un-renounce players if they did so to sign a restricted free agent and the restricted free agent’s original team matches the offer. But would the Pistons regain the right of first refusal, and what if Stuckey signs elsewhere while the Pistons are waiting on the other team to match? I’ve asked Larry Coon to explain, and I’ll post his answers.

Basically, using this year’s salary cap, the Pistons would have $12,638,869 in cap room this summer if they keep Stuckey’s rights. That number could increase (more likely) or decrease (gosh, I hope not) slightly if they sign Stuckey. Or, they could renounce Stuckey and have $20,450,067 to spend on free agents.

Of course, the huge risk with making this trade before the draft is that the new CBA disappears the newly created cap room.

Richard Hamilton’s value

At this year’s trade deadline, Richard Hamilton had negative value. That’s likely still the case.

In February, the Pistons and Cavaliers agreed to deal that would’ve sent Hamilton and a 2012 lottery-protected first-round pick to Cleveland for essentially nothing.

So, it seems a bit absurd for people to claim the Pistons definitely wouldn’t make this deal. They’re not that different.

Of course, Hamilton’s contract is a little shorter now than in February. The No. 8 pick is probably more a little more valuable than a lottery-protected 2012 first-round pick, but given the poor quality of this year’s draft – and by extension, the large number of underclassmen who would’ve typically come out this year who will instead go pro in 2012 – the difference isn’t huge. Tom Gores buying the team changes some things, too. But overall, if the earlier trade was palatable, this one should at least get consideration from the Pistons.

Making the trade viable

Even if the Pistons wanted to make this trade from a payroll-structure/basketball standpoint, I doubt they would. There’s no way to sell it to the fans.

The Pistons have said they need to receive a player in return to make the deal. Is that because they don’t find the trade appealing? Or is that just so they can spin this trade to look good for fans? Either is possible, and the fix is the same: another player.

Just because the Pistons have turned down this version of the trade, we don’t necessarily have us more info about how much they value Hamilton and the No. 8 pick.

Fixing the culture

There are certainly NBA players who are unhappy with their teams and just playing out their contracts. Nothing will appease them, except a change of venue. They’re miserable, and by extension, they make their teammates miserable.

They might do things like curse out their coach, skip a game when they don’t get their way or lead a practice boycott. Know anyone who fits that bill?

Joe Dumars understands this. That’s why he’s always said he’d trade anyone who wants out. Unfortunately, Hamilton’s large contract has prevented Dumars from trading him.

Making this move or a similar move would benefit Detroit’s culture. As someone outside of the Pistons’ locker room, it’s impossible for us to know how much help the deal would provide. That’s why I’m hesitant to say the trade would absolutely be a mistake.

Creating friends

NBA transactions can’t always be analyzed in simple terms of the amount of direct benefit a team receives. There’s a contingent of agents, advisors, etc. involved who work frequently with every team. As Henry Abbott once explained, it’s like selling a house to your cousin. You’re not just trying to extract as much value to your side as you can.

Leon Rose, Hamilton’s agent, did the Pistons a favor by insisting the Nets include Hamilton in the proposed Carmelo Anthony trade. The Pistons could do Rose a favor by making this trade. That’s how business in the NBA works sometimes.

The Pistons will have to deal with Rose again, most immediately this summer with Stuckey’s free agency. Maybe they don’t save any money on Stuckey by making this trade (that would be an unethical promise for Rose to make, because  wouldn’t be fair to Stuckey), but maybe Rose gives Detroit a better picture of his client’s offers. That could help the Pistons navigate some of the challenges listed above.

Effect of an amnesty provision

If the next Collective Bargaining Agreement includes a one-time amnesty provision, similar to the Allan Houston rule, the Pistons could release one player who wouldn’t count against the luxury tax. Conventional wisdom says the prospect of releasing Hamilton means they shouldn’t make this trade. After all, why give up the No. 8 pick to clear salary if they can accomplish the same result with the amnesty provision?

The first issue is the amnesty provision, as currently constructed, would only affect the luxury tax, not the salary cap. So, the Pistons, who aren’t near the tax line, wouldn’t benefit much from releasing Hamilton.

But what if the final version of the clause provides teams with cap relief and the Pistons would prefer to cut Charlie Villanueva (who I think is the favorite to get the axe), Jason Maxiell or Ben Gordon. Keep in mind, Detroit would still have to pay the released player.

Right now, the Pistons can tell Hamilton they can’t trade him. With his contract and age, there certainly isn’t a market for his services. As much as Hamilton wants out, I’d think he understands that.

But if the Pistons could release Hamilton without cap or tax penalty, he’d almost certainly expect Detroit would make him its amnesty-provision casualty. I’d guess Dumars has been telling Hamilton he’s trying to trade him. From Hamilton’s perspective, this would be the perfect out. How could Dumars deny him now after months of saying he’s trying to trade him (if that’s the scenario)?

That would likely mean a malcontent become unhappier. Rose probably wouldn’t appreciate Detroit cutting someone else, either. See the issues I discussed in the previous two sections for why this matters.

Trades like this aren’t desirable, but the Pistons have their backs against the wall. This might their best chance at avoiding bigger problems in the near future.


  • May 31, 20117:01 pm
    by Quick Darshan


    Wouldn’t the Pistons also get a 12mil trade exemption if they were to send Rip to the Cavs and get no salary in return?

    For example, couldn’t the Pistons turn around and use the trade exemption to trade a 2nd Round pick for Emeka Okafor or some other player on a team looking to shed salary?  I believe they could use this AFTER using whatever cap space they have.

    • Jun 1, 201112:39 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      I also emailed Larry Coon about this. Because the Cavaliers would be using a trade exception to acquire Hamilton, I’m not entirely sure what the Pistons would get and when it would expire.

  • May 31, 201110:17 pm
    by Laser


    @Quick: yes, they’d get a trade exemption. cleveland’s expires in july, and i don’t know if the pistons would have any more time than that to use it. if its expiration date never changes, the pistons would have to use it in a snap and basically lose all that cap space. but maybe the expiration date gets extended through the transfer. i dunno.
    @Feldman: i just don’t think your figures that include renouncing tayshaun and/or stuckey are practical. for one, i just don’t think joe wants to renounce these guys. for another, i don’t think it’s a good basketball decision. we’d be freeing up $12 or so milllion to go chase after deandre jordan?? i mean, i like deandre jordan (lived in LA for a year and watched him play quite a bit), but we could probably get something comparable to him through a tayshaun sign-and-trade.
    i’m opinionated and i word my thoughts strongly, but some things admittedly escape me, and i’m free to change my mind. i’ve realized that tay has legitimate sign-and-trade value, because there are so few teams that could afford to sign him outright. wherever he chooses to go, they’ll probably be over the cap, and i bet the pistons could work out a pretty favorable deal. heck, if not for a sign-and-trade i don’t think tayshaun could possibly play for a team he likes AND make more than the MLE. so if we’re worried about “making friends,” we’d do right by tay to s&t him.
    the salary issue basically takes care of my point. without renouncing tayshaun or stuckey, this trade leaves them with no cap space. and you’re probably better off holding onto those guys than dumping them in order to overpay a mediocre free agent (likely the only way to get anyone to come here). and we’re talking about MF’ing deandre jordan. or, er, greg oden. smart gamble there, i’m sure. and i think memphis already promised z-bo they’d take care of gasol. so it makes no sense. no sense at all. it would be a straight-up sale of the #8 pick. honestly not a bad price tag, but a bad basketball move.
    but salary issue aside, rip has just one year left before he’s got an expiring contract. with a cap structure as bad as this team has, that makes him a stupid player to dump for nothing, let alone pay a FAT tax to unload. as for the mutiny and all that stuff, god bless rip. even if he started that mutiny, he was well within his rights. there was an untenable situation here, and he was fed up. i hold no grudge. joe made this mess, so that’s where the buck stops. smarter to unload gordon, trade rip in one year, and never pay a shooting guard eight figures again. and dump charlie v into a ravine. then we’re on our way to watchability.

    • May 31, 201110:24 pm
      by Laser


      just to round out my mutiny talk: you said it yourself, we don’t know what the locker room was like. EVERYONE feuded with the coach, most of them publicly. NOBODY respected the coach. joe dumars did NOTHING about it. the people who skipped out on that practice are all adults who make their own choices and cater to their own egos. rip is not a strong enough leader to make anyone do anything they don’t want to; he’s a petulant child with a good mid-range jumper. we’ve known that for years. whining and techs and all that jazz. it’s who he is. nobody “joined a mutiny” because of rip. they did it because of an absolutely untenable situation. and if rip was the guy at the center of it, big deal. the coach is as good as gone. the situation gets a lot better for everyone once the roster gets settled, and that doesn’t necessarily mean rip has to go. better to dump gordon or charlie, since they’ve got that extra contract year. as long as ben gordon and john kuester get the F out of town, rip will be fine.

      • Jun 1, 201112:55 pm
        by Dan Feldman


        For half the season, Rip got minutes he didn’t deserve. He wasn’t playing well or hard. What type of message do you think that sent to Ben Gordon? Do you think that encouraged Gordon to work hard?

        Shortly before the boycott, Ben Wallace said he liked Kuester. Then, Wallace participated in the boycott. Do you think he changed his mind so suddenly about Kuester? Or do you think he just likes Rip more?

        Do you think Rip’s continued berating of Kuester set an example for Stuckey?

        Everyone is responsible for their owns actions. But people are clearly capable influencing the actions of others. Rip is a charismatic and likable guy who I think his teammates like. On a team that has no real leaders, it’s easy to follow his example.


        • Jun 1, 20111:24 pm
          by Laser


          you want to talk about minutes players didn’t deserve? look up and down the roster. we spent the first half of the season starting daye or maxiell at power forward. ben gordon hardly did a thing all season to justify a roster spot. charlie v faded so fast i could watch entire games without noticing he was there at all. stuckey’s been starting at point guard for the majority of his time here without justifying the organization’s faith in him for more than three or four game stretches three or four times in his career. quit picking on rip.
          you want to talk about liking kuester? wasn’t the guy at rip’s wedding? things change. i vaguely remember the ben wallace quote, but what’s he going to say? “coach is a joke?” right. it’s all talk. for the most part, ben’s a team player and knows what to say. over a decade of looking into their lives, who strikes you as more of a leader: ben or rip? plus, i believe ben was expressly excused from that shootaround. we may never know the specifics, but this was around the time his brother was dying, and he was excused. t-mac’s excuse was a headache.
          as for an example to stuckey, i dunno man. these are all adults, stuckey included. so he set a bad example. his contract is (almost entirely) guaranteed. that’s basketball for ya. EVERYONE fought with the coach. NOBODY respected him. all of these problems can be traced directly to joe. he made rip the team’s captain and richest player, he traded away all of the real leaders and installed a rookie coach, he tripled up on shooting guards, alienating the one who’s the oldest and highest paid.
          what of prince’s buffonery talk? do you think rip got inside prince’s head and manipulated him into turning on the coach? or do you think prince is a smart guy who was able to observe the situation from the inside and thought the coach was a joke?? none of this happens if joe doesn’t turn the pistons into an absolute disaster with predictably poor decisions. none of this happens if rip isn’t forced to share minutes and shots with someone else. and like i said in my last sentence above, if you remove kuester and gordon from the situation (and, preferably, add a true lead guard), i don’t think rip is a problem here anymore. so you get rid of gordon (who apparently has value), axe the coach, and suck it up for a year. then next year you trade rip when he’s an asset. believe it or not, i’d rather tough it out with rip and gordon for one more season than pay such a big tax to unload him. but of course my first choice would be to trade gordon.

          • Jun 1, 20113:08 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Somebody had to play. The fact is, when nobody solidified their starting job outside of Prince, Kuester made a change. Except Rip was the last to get his minutes cut. He had a longer leash than anyone else.

            Kuester was at Rip’s wedding. What’s your point?

            Rip strikes me as more of a vocal leader. He’s much more extroverted than Wallace.

            If Richard Hamilton had gone around demanding that his teammates play hard and follow Kuester’s direction, even if they didn’t agree with him, do you think Stuckey would have disobeyed Kuester so much? Stuckey deserves the bulk of the blame for his actions, but peer pressure exists.

            What makes you think getting rid of Gordon is easier than Rip? According to you, Gordon barely deserves to make the roster of one of the NBA’s worst teams. Plus, he has more money left on his contract. Trading one would help the other. We agree on that. But why is trading Gordon easier?



    • Jun 1, 20119:13 am
      by tarsier


      I’m sure there are many who would disagree, but I would love to take a chance on Oden. It could end up backfiring and then Detroit has to suffer several more years of going to the lottery. But if we are losing assets to get him (losing assets to get cap space to get him that is), that will make the team worse and if he doesn’t play, hopefully we would get decent picks for a while. On the other hand, if he does finally get over his injury issues, Oden has more upside than Andrew Bynum. He could easily be the second best center in the league for years.
      Right now, Detroit is in a horrible spot: neither good nor terrible enough to likely draft a superstar. A big risk is the best way to fix that. If it can get us either a lot better or a lot worse, that’s a smart move for a momentum-less team.

      • Jun 1, 201112:38 pm
        by Laser


        ok, so you’d renounce tayshaun (and miss out on whatever we might get for him in a sign-and-trade), possibly renounce stuckey (probably still one of our top two assets, top four for sure) and let him walk away from this team for absolutely nothing… so you could attempt to sign greg oden to a rich enough offer sheet that portland wouldn’t match after drafting him first overall and paying him a fortune to use their rehab facilities? well that’s certainly playing fantasy GM pretty loosely, i think.
        i bet most people’s decision on greg oden would be whether or not to extend him a multi-year deal wit the full midlevel exception (which starts at around $6 million), which the pistons could do without jettisoning any resources.
        in a sense i understand the desire to swing for the fences, but if i’m going to take a huge chance and bet a significant portion of the future on a player, it’s not going to be one who’s played exactly one full season in four total years. and you’d have to have brain damage to actually think it’s a smart idea. i know this team is desperate for some change, but that’s madness. and the notion that if it doesn’t work, “oh well. we collect good picks for a while” is pathetic. you really want to be a 7 or 8 seed forever, don’t you? we can be a solid team without a superstar. no GM who valued his job or team would take that kind of chance on someone with an injury history like oden’s… i mean, his career is ALL injury history.

        • Jun 1, 20112:37 pm
          by tarsier


          I would seriously consider releasing Prince for him, yes. I’d like to get something for Prince in s&t but it would probably just be a late first round pick anyway. Now worthless, but not amazing. No, I would not renounce Stuckey, who, as you said, is possibly the Piston second best asset. Swinging for the fences on Oden would not require more than the $12M that we could have just renouncing Prince. If he costs more than that, forget about it. But I would be willing to bet on him to the tune of an average of $10M/yr. But I am sure someone will give it to him. If the Pistons want him, they will have to offer more. I am hoping that an offer starting at $7-8M would be enough to make him not go to the best team that offers MLE. I would also release Prince to go after Nene. Unfortunately, I think those are probably the only two FAs worth much. That is the main reason I wouldn’t want to do the Rip + pick for nothing deal.

          • Jun 1, 20112:45 pm
            by brgulker

            $10 million for Oden is absolutely insane.

          • Jun 1, 20118:33 pm
            by tarsier

            Yeah, I agree it’s ridiculous. But I still think there is a great chance that he will soonbe the second best center in the league. I don’t expect most to agree with me, and it’s completely reasonable for anyone to disagree. I don’t think Oden should be offered $10M because I don’t think the market will command that much. It’s just how much I think he is worth. Again, I believe your thinking I am insane is totally reasonable.

    • Jun 1, 201112:44 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      I’d be shocked if the Pistons can get someone similar to DeAndre Jordan in a Prince sign-and-trade (unless the players the Pistons receive is also a free agent). Jordan is more valuable than Prince when you consider age and position. If a contender is willing to give up a young player like Jordan for a veteran, I’d think they could do better than Prince.

      • Jun 1, 20111:07 pm
        by Laser


        i wouldn’t be shocked at all if they could land a solid player, perhaps even in that vein. you made a bullet point yourself about creating friends. nobody wants to stick it to the pistons or fleece them and kick them when they’re down, especially with joe’s inexplicably-enduring respectability. plus, no team over the cap (and this includes all the teams who would have a real use for him and everywhere he’d want to play) can sign him to a deal above the MLE without involving the pistons. so we do have some leverage there. i hadn’t thought of it before, but there’s value in having his rights.
        also, i just don’t think jordan is more valuable than prince right now. i think you’re under-valuing prince. he’s a winner, a good locker room presence, very versatile, high basketball IQ. he’s a veteran but still in his prime (at least for a few more years). 30 teams in the league would love to have him. if i was looking to win now and had depth at the power positions but none on the wings, i’d trade a younger big for a winner like prince. maybe that’s just me.
        and even if they wouldn’t get someone of DJ’s caliber, i maintain that renouncing prince and/or stuckey in order to extend an offer sheet to a middling free agent is a bad idea. chances are we’ll swing and miss, and we may have cost ourselves two of the five or six true assets this team has in total.

  • Jun 1, 20117:40 am
    by detroitpcb


    Thanks for changing your mind on the Prince sign and trade, Laser. My position all along is that they will get something of value for Prince. Coaches and GM’s around the league love what he brings to the table. He is one of the best third options in the league.

    I’d give Chicago Gordon & Max for Booser in a heartbeat, but don’t think Chicago would do it. Anybody else think Noah is the closest thing to Ben Wallace playing today with his ability to guard anyone in the pick and roll and his unrelenting hustle and focus? Love that kid.

    • Jun 1, 20119:05 am
      by tarsier


      Agreed. About trading Gordon and Max for Booz. Granted, I’d rather combine the proposed trade scenarios as I elaborated on below. But Boozer would look a lot better playing for Detroit than he does for Chicago as he would have little competition for his minutes.

    • Jun 1, 20119:21 am
      by tarsier


      About Prince, though, I still think it would have been smart to take the trade with the Mavs at the deadline. Because Butler brings almost as much to the table as Prince. And Detroit would have one more piece to trade with. Or maybe get Darius Morris. But yeah, Prince should still fetch some value in s&t. I just doubt that value will be more than an end of the first round draft pick. Maybe in a better draft, but still, Butler could fetch the same.

      • Jun 1, 201112:47 pm
        by Laser


        i don’t think butler has half the value prince does right now. they may be comparable players in a vacuum, but prince just came off the best season of his career, emerged as a go-to scorer (albeit on a bad team), won a championship where he was a major contributor. he’s a winner and a great locker room guy. butler is coming off an injury-shortened season and never won anything in his life. no contest, i think.
        my issue with prince was not that i thought he wasn’t worth something or that he wouldn’t be in demand. the reason i changed my mind is that i realized how few teams could afford to offer him a fair contract (as in, more than the midlevel exception). prince is going to have to take an offer from someone, and the teams he’d want to play for, the ones that could really use him, are all over the cap. so in order to pair prince with a winner, the winner’s going to have to send us something substantial in return.

        • Jun 1, 20112:15 pm
          by brgulker


          Tayshaun isn’t as valuable as you’re making him sound. This wasn’t the best season of his career, in the first place. In the second place, it’s silly to assume that a contender who would be willing to sign Tay to the MLE would also be willing to give up assets to get him via S&T. S&T’s for players of Tay’s caliber and age just don’t happen that often, because they don’t make sense that often.
          Take Dallas, for example. This summer, they’d obviously look to pick up a guy like Prince to bolster their depth on the perimiter. They have the MLE (presumably) as a resource to acquire Tay. What comparable trade asset do they have that would result in a net gain if they partnered with Detroit in a S&T (that Detroit would also view as a net gain)?
          Now run that thought experiment with every fringe contender in the league. Which contender has something we want and is willing to give it up to get Tay? I can’t think of any. SA, LA, OKC, ORL, BOS… anyone? Maybe Denver wants out of Felton, but do we really want another middling guard?
          I just don’t see it. Our best chance at trading Tay for an asset was the Dallas deal that fell through, which was Tay for a late first. If Tay wants to play for a contender, he’ll be getting MLE money for 3-5 years. If he wants more money, he won’t be winning a whole lot more than he is now.

          • Jun 1, 20112:47 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            I have gone through every team. Here’s the only scenario I could come up with: Prince for Kaman.

        • Jun 1, 20112:52 pm
          by tarsier


          I agree with brgulker that you are overvaluing Prince. Who would give up more for him than a late first round pick? Prince has value and he just had a good year, but his past several years have been underwhelming and he is getting old. If someone signs him to much over the MLE, they won’t want it to be a long term deal anyway. That means they probably won’t give up a high potential young player.
          Also, having won before doesn’t mean squat. He was on a good team. He was a strong part of a good team. The fact that an equally talented player had less good fortune can’t have too strong an effect on his value, can it?

  • Jun 1, 20119:01 am
    by tarsier


    I prefer the idea of getting a third team in. Say, give either Hamilton or Gordon to the Bulls. The Bulls give Boozer to the Cavs. Detroit and Chicago each give a pick to the Cavs. And then we get the Cavs protected pick next year (which we probably don’t cash in on for one or two more years unless they get considerably better fast).
    The Bulls transform talent at a position they don’t need it to a position they do need it at the mere cost of either the 28 or 30 pick (and it’s less of an albatross of a contract). Cavs get huge immediate help in a big time post threat Boozer who is probably less washed up than he appeared this year as well as two more picks so that they can bring in a bevy of talent who won’t be on expensive contracts until Booz is expired anyway. Detroit saves money, potentially makes their draft pick better, and probably creates cap space which is not eaten away by still having a high pick this year. Also, presumably the value of the other of Hamilton or Gordon increases with one of them gone.
    This is a scenario I would love to see happen.

  • Jun 1, 20119:27 am
    by tarsier


    Question for PP writers:
    Would there be any reason to release White? Would his option be significantly more expensive than the cap hold for an empty roster spot?

    • Jun 1, 201112:53 pm
      by Laser


      good question. i’ll answer it. his contract next year is for $788,872. so he’d be about $300k more than his cap hold. for an early second-rounder who was projected to go in the first round and was drafted at a position of no need whatsoever, i’d probably take the player over the cap hold. similarly, the cap hold on summers is the same as on jerebko. at this point, i’d rather hold onto summers for a million bucks than dump him. i think he could probably be a capable backup SF, and he’s cheap as hell.

      • Jun 1, 20111:02 pm
        by Dan Feldman


        This salary explanation is correct.

      • Jun 1, 20112:59 pm
        by tarsier


        Fair enough. In that case, I would definitely keep White. Summers, I don’t know. I wish he had gotten a real shot. But given that he hasn’t so far, I don’t know what would be the point of another year. I guess if Prince and McGrady are gone and the Pistons don’t draft another intriguing wing, he would probably be worth holding on to.

  • Jun 1, 201111:45 am
    by brgulker


    I’m not in favor of trading this year’s pick, unless we’re trading up or down in the first round. IMO, the salary structure of the team is such that we can’t afford to waste the opportunity to employ cheap talent.

    • Jun 1, 201111:53 am
      by tarsier


      Well if you are trading cheap talent along with expensive talent, it’s like you are trading appropriately priced talent. It just all comes down to whether we would be underpaying the pick by more or if we are overpaying the player who also gets shipped out by more. It also has to do with what the cleared up money would be used for. If you just turn around and overpay another player, then yeah, it’s a waste. And I don’t trust Dumars to not overpay in free agency. Hence why if this pick is traded, I would rather it was traded for a pick next year. No loss of cheap talent, just a slight delay in receiving it.

  • Jun 1, 201112:59 pm
    by RussellC


    I see a doable scenario since Cleveland already had offered the 4th pick for Rudy Gay supposedly.

    Trade Daye and Gordon and next year’s 1 for the fourth pick and Baron Davis since its obvious . Keep the eighth pick.

    Draft Biyombo fourth and either Fareid or Singleton 8th. Get rid of some other excess baggage (Charlie V, Maxiel, and cash for another pick early enough to get the one you didn’t take at number 8. It might mean taking back someone else’s dreck to do it though.

    Scoring from Davis, Stuckey, Hamilton, Monroe, Jerebko. Rebounding and defense from Biyombo, Monroe, Fareid, Singleton, and Stuckey.

    Three high paid players in Davis, Stuckey and Hamilton with a lot of hungry young guys.

    I would watch that team

  • Jun 1, 20111:19 pm
    by Alan


    Nice write-up on a challenging topic.  Also, valid input that this trade is worthy of consideration when compared to this past-season’s trade deadline deal including Hamilton.

    I think Stuckey and Tay are a bigger priority than Hamilton and here’s why.  Stuckey has shown no reason for another team to pony up big $$.  We saw Joe D play hardball with Bynum last summer and I expect he’ll do the same with Stuckey.  Stuckey has never lived up to being great, but he’s been good.  A good player on a reasonable contract will make for a nice building block or trade chip.  Also, Tay may still deliver a player (via s&t) who can crack the rotation next season.  Between Stuckey and a player from Tay’s deal we’re reminded that, at the end of the day, we’re talking about basketball.

    The Pistons are not paying the luxury tax and so we can afford to pay Hamilton for one more season.  Also, even if we dump Hamilton, it’s not likely that we are luring a difference-maker via FA anytime soon.  Unless we can a.) clean house and dump Max & Villa or b.) get a player in return I’m content to sit with Rip another year.  Yes, that will cause problems in the locker room and yes it will ruin another year of Ben Gordon in Detroit.  But there’s no reason to give up the #8 pick and Rip to clear space for a player who isn’t coming to Detroit via FA.  My two cents.

  • Jun 1, 20116:00 pm
    by Derek


    Detroit Gets:
    PF J.J. Hickson
    PG Jonny Flynn
    12.5M Trade Exception (from Cleveland)(expires this July)

    Pistons give up their 8th pick and rid themselves of Hamilton, but aquire 2 young players that have become expendable by their teams if this trade were to happen (Derrick Williams #2 pick makes Hickson expendable & a Rubio return can make Flynn expendable, plus Flynn’s game doesn’t fit in the triangle that Rambis implements at all)

    Cleveland Gets:
    2nd Pick in the Draft (from Minnesota)(PF Derrick Williams)
    SG Rip Hamilton (potential buyout)
    PF Jason Maxiell

    Hamilton would be a buyout (and probably land in Chicago) only thing it cost the Cavs is Dan Gilbert’s money (no cap implications, or if they keep him, he would be their starting SG for 1 year then he’s a huge 15mil exp deal trade asset for the following year)
    There are only 2 really good prospects in this draft, why wouldn’t the Cavs want both and start their new team that way? (the difference between 4 and 2 is that big this year)
    I think Cavs (and Byron Scott who isn’t too fond of Hickson) would give up Hickson especially since they will be replacing him with #2 pick PF Derrick Williams (plus with Varejao, Jamison, Maxiell, Hollins as their C/PFs he’s expendable)


    Minnesota Gets:
    4th Pick in the Draft (from Cleveland)(C Ernes Kanter)
    8th Pick in the Draft (from Detroit)
    PG Boobie Gibson

    I think Minnesota wants trade assets:
    For Instance they can trade Beasley/Randolph/Darko along with #4 and or #8 for a player like Danny Granger
    (plus how Flynn’s contract is still around 4mill per year, which is overpriced for where his value is right now and with Rubio/Ridnour holding down the PG spot, it’s a logjam)
    Even if Rubio doesn’t go to Minnesota, he can be traded for an asset, but Ridnour IS their starting PG if he doesn’t come and play for them, Flynn is their backup PG making 4mil and hates the coach/GM why not move on, admit he’s a misfit with their system and acquire 2 top 8 lottery picks (that hold more trade value even in a weak draft than Flynn is worth right now?) plus Boobie Gibson who has the same contract as Flynn, has proven to be a better player so far and gives them a much needed outside Shooter.

    Who says no?

    • Jun 1, 20116:02 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Cleveland quickly. Maybe Minnesota, too.

      • Jun 1, 20116:19 pm
        by Derek


        Without the Piston’s giving the Cavs that #8 Pick, they can’t get the #2 pick

        So why wouldn’t the Cavs trade Hickson for Derrick Williams essentially?
        (maybe Maxiell doesn’t need to be apart of this trade so the Cavs don’t have to eat his 5mil too, would that make it any better?)(I wouldn’t mind the idea of Ramon Sessions coming to Detroit though)

        For Minnesota, this is the same trade they are trying to do but essentially swapping Flynn (who doesn’t fit their system and had a terrible sophmore year for them for an outside shooter that team could use in Boobie Gibson who has about the same contract as Flynn)

        What could make this work in your opinion?

        • Jun 1, 20116:41 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          J.J. Hickson is more valuable than the No. 2 pick to Cleveland, I’d guess. Hamilton and Maxiell are big negatives. The trade exception still has some value. This is just a non-starter.

          • Jun 1, 20117:33 pm
            by Derek


            What if the same trade but sub in PG Ramon Sessions for Hickson (Cleveland already has Baron Davis to go along with Kyle Irving at PG, plus Cavs take on Maxiell’s contract in order to get out from 1 less year of Boobie’s)

            I like Sessions as a starting PG (he plays well every time he gets the opportunity) and I’d like taking a flyer on Flynn (he seems like a prime guy that just needs a fresh start in a non triangle offensive system to get back on track)

          • Jun 1, 20118:25 pm
            by Derek


            In all honesty, I’d be happy with this trade too.
            Rip needs to go, period.
            Cleveland gets:
            8th pick in this year’s draft (that they’ll flip to Minnesota along with the 4th Pick for #2 Pick PF Derrick Williams)
            SG Rip Hamilton (buyout or in 1 year great exp contract to trade)
            PF Jason Maxiell
            Detroit gets:
            PG Ramon Sessions
            12.5M Trade Exeption (expires this July)
            PF Samardo Samuels

            Sessions in his 84 career starts averages over his 1st 4 years (currently 25yrs old) are:
            84games (about 1 full season)
            33.3Min/g (which would’ve landed him 12 amongst all NBA PGs this year)
            14.7PPG (which would’ve landed him 8th amongst all NBA PGs this year)
            7.2AST (which would’ve landed him 5th in the NBA this year)
            4.0REB (which would’ve landed him 8th amongst all NBA PGs this year)

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