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The Big Answer?: Richard Hamilton

DF then: How much value is there in being the league’s best-conditioned 32-year-old?

Richard Hamilton prides himself on being the NBA’s best-conditioned player, and depending on how you judge that, he might be. Relative to the type of body he’d have if he took average care of himself, Hamilton might be in the best shape in the league.

But how does an extremely fit 32-year-old compare to a regularly fit (by NBA standards) 26-year-old?

Can he be worth $37.5 million over the next three years? Can he be worth an asset in a trade?

I think Hamilton has done all he can to make himself as valuable as possible. But is that enough?

DF now: Some, but not enough to justify his contract

The game doesn’t come as easily to Hamilton as it once did. He can still be effective, but in order to do so, he must exhibit supreme focus. He can’t skate by on just his athleticism anymore. (Not to say athleticism defined his game before, but there were certainly moments it carried him.)

Unfortunately, whether it be arguing with referees or arguing with John Kuester, Hamilton hasn’t shown he can zone out the distractions. Hamilton can – and should – play better than he did this year, but even he gets his mental game in order, he’ll never again be the player he once was.

PH then: Why again does he need to be traded?

Covering media day reinforced something I’d lost sight of: I really like Rip Hamilton a lot. He’s funny, he’s upbeat and although there are certainly questions about his health, he’s still in great shape.

He has a skill set (i.e., not one dependent on elite athleticism) that will make him a solid player well into his late 30s. There are better players than Hamilton out there, and the Pistons have to clear some space on the perimeter, but if he’s healthy, Hamilton will again be a very decent player for the Pistons.

PH now: Oops

I’ve learned that the funny, engaging person Hamilton is off the court is probably not the same person he is in the locker room – particularly toward coaches. Hamilton has declined, though not as much as I thought earlier in the season. He’s still capable of being a solid starter for a team with better players around him. The Pistons don’t have anyone else on the roster who is the answer at shooting guard going forward, but it’s clearly in the best interests of all parties to go their separate ways after the season.


  • May 11, 201110:31 am
    by brgulker


    Rip is washed up. I always thought he’d follow Reggie Miller’s career arc, given how his game works (see Allen, Ray). But he hasn’t at all.

  • May 11, 201110:46 am
    by BIG MARV


    in order for rips game to work again he has to go to a team with a system a GOOD system and a good PG that will give him the ball in the right places especially in them off-ball screen passes. I dont think hes washed up to me barring injury and being benced so much actually rip has refreshed his body. But we have to get something out of rip in a trade mabey some of them good guys from denver or utah will be a good deal we mabey can even get a PG out the deal hint: ty lawson… there is no way denver will keep two starting PG’s for another year thats not happening. With rip in that George Karl system you can see him being back in all star talks and mabey being the most improved player also for next year.

  • May 11, 201112:08 pm
    by Laser


    it’s INSANE and yet almost inarguable that the pistons don’t have an answer at shooting guard going forward. three $10 million guys (once stuckey gets extended) at that position, but no clear answer. sad, sad, sad.
    however, i don’t think there’s anything about the situation that remotely indicates that rip needs to part ways with the organization. both sides agreed to that contract, we’re all adults here, and the team has plenty of options. the slate gets a bit cleaner once there’s a new coach, and rip isn’t necessarily the best guy to move.
    if we draft a point guard, i’d be perfectly comfortable with rip starting next year next to him, stuckey and bynum coming off the bench, and gordon playing elsewhere. then, in a year, when rip’s contract is expiring, you can get rid of him. then your core guards are stuckey, bynum and the pick, and you should probably add a defensive shooting guard to the mix (whether he starts or comes off the bench with bynum). this scenario is much more appealing to me than swapping rip for gordon.

    • May 12, 201111:57 am
      by Tim Thielke


      Please don’t call Stuckey a $10M player. If that’s what Dumars signs him to, I’ll just have to accept it, I guess. but in the meantime, I am really holding out hope his next contract will be considerably smaller. If only Joe D plays it smart for once and realizes that the demand for Stuckey is not all that great and that he should be able to get away with a below market offer (like he could have done with Gordon).

  • May 11, 201112:17 pm
    by steve


    i agree with u laser…  i dont see what the rush is to get rid of rip, when we still have ben gordon.  the first guard that i would get rid of would be gordon, as we have too many people right now that can’t play good d and like to shoot all the time.

  • May 11, 20112:05 pm
    by sop


    I still say that until we see Gordon as a consistent starter and with a green light, then you can’t say the all the options at SG are terrible. He was just to effective at Chicago.

  • May 11, 20113:41 pm
    by neutes


    I’ve regained my love for Rip. I don’t want him going anywhere. His awareness on the court is 10 times Gordon’s. He can average 4+ assists per game and can create open shots for teammates just off his movement without the ball. His shooting isn’t what it was but down the stretch when he was motivated and confident he was shooting well. Dumars should have never given him so many obstacles and we may not have seen the decline we did. He put Iverson, Gordon, Mcgrady, and Stuckey all in front of him at some point. It should’ve been Rip’s position all along and resources should have been spent trying to upgrade other positions. Now Rip’s the pariah when he should be a hero in Detroit.
    It doesn’t hurt that he basically only has 1 year left on his contract at this point, and if he’s kept he’s an expiring asset the following season. At this point regardless of his game I would keep him over Gordon without question. Or I’d just keep him anyway because I doubt Gordon is going anywhere.

    • May 11, 20118:26 pm
      by Laser


      amen. rip didn’t get a fair shake in this situation, and he’s been a total pariah for no reason. well, i guess because joe gets all the credit in the world, and we gotta point the finger somewhere. rip makes an excellent scapegoat. maybe it’s his little beard.

  • May 12, 20111:51 pm
    by gordbrown


    More with the bullshit about point guards. When are you guys going to give it a rest. The question was (and is) whose game was dragged down more by the other, Stuckey or Hamilton. Stuckey got Hamilton the ball wide, wide open many, many times. Hamilton just bricked a ton of those shots. So much so that teams qucikly learned they could double team Stuckey and Prince and essentially shut down the Pistons’ offense. Perhaps some adjustments could have been made but that’s all water under the bridge. If you want Stuckey to move into the upper echelons in assists, the answer is as clear as day. Put him on the floor with bigs who can catch the damn ball and let him run. Hamilton doesn’t fit into that so, while I have nothing against Hamilton as a person, its (long since past) time to trade his butt out of here.

  • May 13, 201111:50 am
    by Ottist3


    Seriously, Stuckey is not a true pointguard which is the center of the pistons problems right there. We need a guy who will get the others the ball at there sweet spots like chuancey used to do. It’s plain as day that when we parted with our play making pointguard, the pistons started there dimise. Stuckey is still valueable, more so than Gordon, but as a back-up/ combo guard. Move Gordon for a true Point to run the offense effectively.

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