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Richard Hamilton, Chicago Bulls’ missing piece

I participated in today’s ESPN 5-on-5 roundtable, which talks about the Chicago Bulls’ prospects next season. I expressed my belief that if Rip Hamilton somehow becomes free, either via buyout or trade, Chicago would be well-served by acquiring him:

4. Fact or Fiction: Chicago can win a title with Bogans as the starting SG.

Patrick Hayes, PistonPowered: Fact, if they acquire a more capable backup, someone like Rip Hamilton if he’s ever freed by the Pistons via buyout or trade. Keith Bogans starts because he’s a tone-setting defensive player. That’s fine. Just bring in a more capable offensive player like Hamilton, who isn’t a slouch defensively, to play the bulk of the minutes. Then plan the championship parade.

In reality, I think it’s very likely Hamilton at least starts next season with the Pistons. He’s hard to trade and expensive to buyout. But I do firmly believe that he’d make an impact with the Bulls. Hamilton and Luol Deng, another wing noted for his without-the-ball movement, would be a nice, active tandem for Derrick Rose to pass to and make the Bulls tougher to match up with on the perimeter.

Chicago isn’t as talented as the Heat, but I believe in their defense. Taking a low-risk flyer on a player like Hamilton if he can be had might be enough to sneak them past Miami, as long as Rose continues to grow.

47 Comments

  • Aug 22, 20117:25 pm
    by Gregoire

    Reply

    If a trade would be made, what do the Pistons get in return?

    • Aug 22, 20119:22 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      It would be hard for the teams to pull off a one-for-one trade. Chicago wouldn’t part with any of their big contract players (Boozer, Noah, Deng) for Rip. Any trade would most likely have to be multi-team and the Pistons would probably be taking back an equally bad contract in return.

      Chicago would most likely only be interested if Hamilton is bought out.

      • Aug 23, 20117:55 am
        by RyanK

        Reply

        If they’re going to fire up a parade with the simple addition of Rip, why wouldn’t they be interested in that?

  • Aug 22, 20118:24 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    I’m not sold yet. Rip doesn’t create any space, and i don’t see how him running off screens makes any sense with Derrick Rose, given how many minutes Rose plays. Rip would be a pretty expensive backup if you’re going to run through him <10 mpg. 

    Ironically, I think BG makes a heck of a lot more sense paired with Rose. Even if he’s a problem on defense.

    • Aug 22, 20119:20 pm
      by kamal

      Reply

      He’s better than Bogans.  Period.  Rose creates the space by drawing the attention from Rip’s man.  Rip is a better shooter than Bogans and could still move without the ball.  

      See, you’re thinking that Rose is going to be standing around waiting for Rip to get open.  Hardly.  Rose will go to work, and if Rip is open, he’ll hit him.  If not, then that’s one less defender for Rose to have to avoid.

      I think he gets way more than 10 mpg.  I’m think 25-30. 

      • Aug 23, 20115:06 pm
        by brgulker

        Reply

        I didn’t say he gets less than 10 mpg. I said the offense would be run through his style of play < 10 mpg. That’s an important and intentional distinction.

    • Aug 22, 20119:24 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      @Ben:

      He’s expensive if they trade for him. I still think there’s at least a slight chance that Detroit works out a buyout with Hamilton if they find no trade partner.

      Hamilton on a veteran’s minimum, make-good deal would be intriguing in Chicago I think.

      • Aug 23, 20115:05 pm
        by brgulker

        Reply

        That scenario, absolutely, if a team like SA doesn’t make a play first.

  • Aug 22, 20119:12 pm
    by jj

    Reply

    Bulls wouldn’t be interested in trading for Rip, would have to be a buyout and resign situation. I tried to plead the case to Bulls’ fans for trading for BG on realgm, but nearly all just can’t swallow the fact that his huge contract is going up while his PER is steadily going down. Think we’d need to see BG return to form for at least a month or two before we’re going to be able to trade him.

    • Aug 22, 20119:25 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Even if Gordon is a better fit in Chicago, and he might be, he presents the same problem that Hamilton does. Even if Boozer is flawed, there’s no way Chicago trades him for Gordon and there’s no way they trade Deng for Gordon. Who do they give up to get salaries to match in a deal for Gordon if those two are out of the question?

      • Aug 23, 201111:21 am
        by Murph

        Reply

        It’s always been my hope that Chicago would take Gordon back, based on his playoff performance with them 3 years ago.

        A three way trade that would work salary wise would be Gordon to Chicago.   Korver, and filler (Asik and Watson?) to Utah.  And Okur back to Detroit.

        If healthy, Okur can still provide rebounding and perimeter shooting.  And if he can’t recover from his achilles tendon injury, he has an expiring contract.

        I think Chicago would do that trade.  Although, I’m not sure about Utah.  The Jazz might need a draft pick thrown into the deal.

  • Aug 22, 20119:27 pm
    by Al

    Reply

    Bulls would have loved to get Rip last year, but the word was that Rip was happy collecting his check with the Pistons.  So I think that bird has flown.  Likewise BG had a great chance to be a Bull for life but went for the big bucks instead.  After trying for a year and a half to work out an extension with Gordon and being spurned, I don’t see Bulls management welcoming him back.

    • Aug 22, 20119:31 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I don’t think it was really about being happy collecting his check. He wouldn’t have lost much between a buyout and whatever new contract he signed. I think it was more Hamilton, who I believe lives in Michigan, not wanting to change teams/uproot his family midseason. I think he might be more amenable to it if it’s during the offseason.

  • Aug 22, 201111:37 pm
    by rob

    Reply

    I agree Rip is what the Bulls need, but no way he signs there or agrees to a trade to be a Bogan’s backup. And he shouldnt have to, he’s still a better overall player, and better defender imo. Don’t forget Rip was the starting SG on probably the best defensive team of all-time. Put him in a great team defense again, which the Bulls have, and he will do just fine.

    • Aug 22, 201111:40 pm
      by rob

      Reply

      CHI doesnt really have any assets that we need, that they would give up for Rip, but if they can clear cap space somehow and just absorb his contract in exchange for a late 1st round pick, that would be perfect.

    • Aug 23, 20119:17 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Don’t forget Rip was the starting SG on probably the best defensive team of all-time.”

      He sure was. Seven years ago.

      I think a motivated Hamilton, with better talent around him, is still a solid NBA player. But dude is on the downside of his career and he’s not a better defender than Bogans, even if he is a better player.

      • Aug 23, 20112:17 pm
        by rob

        Reply

        I’m not saying Rip is as good defensively as he was 7 years ago, but I still think he can be at least as good as Bogans in that system, if not better. And when you add in what he provides on offense that Bogans doesnt, it makes sense that Rip would be the starter.

        One of CHI’s biggest problems last year was having to waste TO’s late in games substituting offense for defense with Korver and Bogans. That’s why Rip would be so valuable to them because he gives them a 2 way player at SG that they dont need to sub in/out.

        If they made Bogan’s the starter and subbed Rip in/out, that wouldn;t really change anything except a little more production from Rip vs what they got last year from Korver.

        • Aug 23, 20115:37 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I’d have to agree. I just don’t get the excitement about Bogans’ defense. It seems slightly above average.

          • Aug 23, 20119:54 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            But for all we know, slightly above average could be significantly better than Hamilton defensively.

            There have been great debates in the comments here about whether the slippage in Hamilton’s game has been a product of age and a natural decline or if he’s just simply been abused by the incompetence of the coaches here and he’ll return close to his old form.

            I tend to think it’s more a result of his game declining, but I’m also somewhat intrigued by the prospect of seeing him surrounded by better talent.

            But anyway, to the point, Hamilton or most anyone is surely an offensive upgrade over Bogans. But Bogans is pretty good defensively, and based on the last two years, I can’t describe Hamilton that way.

          • Aug 24, 20111:29 pm
            by tarsier

            That’s fair. Perhaps I overrate him, but I still see Hamilton as an average defender at the 2. So perhaps slightly worse than Bogans. Perhaps even slightly better. But not a huge difference there.

  • Aug 23, 20112:15 am
    by neutes

    Reply

    While I think it’s debatable that Rip or Gordon would actually help Chicago they could offer Korver and Brewer and I’d take it in a heartbeat for either. I don’t think the Bulls need to do anything. If they played Brewer more and Bogans not at all they’d be fine, but if that haven’t figured that out by now it might be hopeless. Rose was also terrible in the playoffs, but that might just be growing pains, which I think you’re better off banking on than making a desperation move.

    • Aug 23, 20112:29 am
      by neutes

      Reply

      If you look at Rose he suddenly went from being efficient his first 2 seasons to average last season, yet he wins the MVP? But he went from taking less than one 3-pointer per game his first 2 seasons to taking 4.5 per game last season, and he’s not a good 3-point shooter. Then in the playoffs he increased that to over 6 three’s per game, and shot 25% from 3. Why is Rose taking so many 3′s, especially when he’s bad at them?
       
      The Bulls problems look fixable from within, but it seems like they might be oblivious to them.

      • Aug 23, 20119:09 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        While Rose’s FG% dropped this year, his efficiency did not. He took a ton more threes. And it is acceptable to not make 3s at as high a rate as 2s because they are worth more. His two point percentage was only a shade lower than before, his three point percentage sky rocketed to about league average, and most importantly, he got to the line more and converted free throws at a higher rate. Those all helped his case, but none of them are why he won MVP. Rose got MVP because he led a team which vastly surpassed expectations on which virtually nobody else played better than expected (maybe Deng a little).
        He wasn’t as good in the playoffs, but most people aren’t. And you would need a significantly larger sample size before concluding that his playoff performance was something to worry about. As for hes shot selection, until he gets a scoring off guard or Boozer returns to form, he will have games in which he is stuck taking what the defense allows him.

        • Aug 23, 201110:28 am
          by neutes

          Reply

          Rose’s TS% increased only because his FT% went up and he got to the line more, and it was only 0.06% point better than Stuckey’s. Jacking up all those three’s didn’t make him more efficient as his eFG% dropped. His eFG% was 11th on the Bulls, with only Taj Gibson worse among regular rotation players. And I don’t buy this argument that Rose had to shoulder the load. That’s the player he is. You put Wade next to him and he’s still going to have the exact same mentality. He’s basically a healthy Gilbert Arenas. Look at Arenas’ early career and especially 05-06. Arenas put up better numbers across the board that season than Rose did last season. His team won 42 games. Arenas’ best season was better than Rose’s best season so far. Arenas didn’t have Deng, Boozer, and Noah though. He had Butler, Jamison, and Haywood.
           
          That being said the Bulls are close and Rose doesn’t need help, he has it already. It wouldn’t hurt. Rip would hurt. But actual real help wouldn’t hurt. But they just don’t need it. They need Rose to take better shots when it matters, in the playoffs.. A completely healthy Bulls team probably comes close to 70 wins last season. They were 2nd only to the Heat in efficiency differential and Boozer and Noah missed a combined 57 games. That’s hardly cause for concern.

          • Aug 23, 20115:49 pm
            by tarsier

            I never said that his threes were helping his efg% or his ts%. just that they arent really hurting it either when he is shooting twos at about 50% and threes at about 33%. and his getting his 3pt% up really does help. Odds are that next to Wade, Rose still takes plenty of bad shots. But I don’t see how you can debate the point that when the Bulls couldn’t get a good shot, it was almost always Rose who was forced to take the tough shot. Of course his ts% and efg% arent great.
            As for the statistical comparison to Arenas, that’s hardly an insult to Rose. Arenas at the top of his game was fantastic. He was a legitimate MVP candidate for the first half of the 2006-07 season (it was then a tight race between him, Nash, Dirk, and Kobe). And his teammates, Butler and Jamison were actually really good then. Butler easily made the all-star game and Jamison was a fringe all-star. Haywood was pretty decent too and Stevenson had his moments. In all, the supporting cast was slightly weaker than Rose’s this year. Maybe about equal when you take the Boozer and Noah injuries into consideration. Yet Arenas couldn’t lead those Wizards to nearly as many wins as Rose did his Bulls. So Rose posted fantastic numbers and got a ton of wins out of his team. I think his playing the way he does is nothing to complain about.

          • Aug 24, 20118:08 am
            by neutes

            I can’t believe you would say that Butler, Jamison, and Haywood are remotely close to as good as Deng, Boozer, and Noah. Rose’s supporting cast is much much better than what Arenas had. It’s the entire difference between 42 wins and 62 wins. All things being equal there is no way Rose simply willed his team to 20 more wins despite putting up almost the exact same season statistically as Arenas. It’s jut not possible.

          • Aug 24, 20111:25 pm
            by tarsier

            I’m not saying they are. They definitely are not. I am saying they were. And there are a lot more things that go into the number of wins you get than just how good the players are. I am a strong proponent of luck being the most understated variable in sports.

  • Aug 23, 20113:23 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    i always gotta roll my eyes at chatter involving rip being bought out. dude’s not the problem here, and his contract isn’t that big of a problem either. rip is the least of our worries.
     
    and very very very very obviously, rip would be a good low-risk acquisition for the bulls. or for, i dunno, like any team in the league that isn’t already inundated with shooting guards, since he’s very probably a solid (at least) starting shooting guard with several productive seasons left in him.

    • Aug 23, 20119:15 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “dude’s not the problem here, and his contract isn’t that big of a problem either. rip is the least of our worries.”

      I think the organization may view things differently than you do. They pretty clearly think he’s part of the problem or they wouldn’t have almost given away a first round pick last year just to be rid of him.

  • Aug 23, 201112:27 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    LOL, the bulls aren’t as talented at the Heat??! hahaha, the Heat is so overrate, please get off there bandwagon!!!

  • Aug 23, 201112:28 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    LOL, the bulls aren’t as talented at the Heat??! hahaha, the Heat is so overrated, please get off there bandwagon!!!

    • Aug 23, 201112:39 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      First, great work on the double post. Secondly, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Heat beat Chicago in five games in the playoffs? Didn’t the Heat hold Rose to 35 percent shooting in that series and completely eliminate Boozer from doing much of anything? The Bulls are good, but the Heat were very clearly better to anyone with a brain.

    • Aug 23, 20115:53 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Most critics agreed that the Bulls were playing to nearly the maximum of their talent and that the Heat weren’t particularly close. Now I won’t hold the playoff series too much against the Bulls because while winning in 5 sounds dominant, they were mostly very close games. But the Heat have the two most talented players in the league. The only team that can challenge them on a pure talent level is the Lakers (I’m not sure which of those I would say has more). The Bulls have a nice team. But the Heat have one of the top trios to ever play together in sports.

  • Aug 23, 20111:18 pm
    by jj

    Reply

    W/r/t a buyout, if Rip isn’t part of a solution to the current Pistons crappiness, then there’s little reason not to buy him out. Don’t worry about the money he makes, just see what helps the team (I know, I know, easier for us to say…)
    W/r/t Rose, nobody else can create shots on his team, but the system has to change to let him create for others more, mostly Boozer. Boozer isn’t a straight post guy, works much better off pick/pop where he can get open 12-footers or running layups. Deng was actually used pretty well last year in catch/shoot and coming off screens, Korver too. Apart from those three, there simply aren’t options for creating offense on the Bulls.
    Also, anyone who thinks Rose wasn’t better last year than previous years is just, wow. His midrange game suffered some, and he tried a bit too hard to work on his 3-ball, but he got so good last year at driving and drawing fouls. He did a lot more, and more frequently, last year, and the fact that he added so many dimensions to his game while still increasing his PER massively is pretty incredible.

  • Aug 23, 20111:21 pm
    by RyanK

    Reply

    Given the lockout and Rip’s money is only partial guaranteed, I don’t see his contract as bad as people make it out to be.  They won’t have to pay much is any this season and it’s an expiring deal the year after with him not likely to get paid as much as hoopshype says he will.
     
    I’m thinking he one has 1-1.5 years left on his contract and he is a guy who can give you 30 plus minutes of good production.   He’s not a bargain, but definitely not one of the worst deal out there.

    • Aug 23, 20111:54 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      It’s not so much a matter of it being good or bad. We could debate back and forth forever on that. The bottom line is it’s expensive. In the context of this discussion regarding whether the Bulls could/would trade for him, depending on the new CBA, the salary cap could change dramatically and the Bulls have always been a team that won’t pay the luxury tax under Reinsdorf. They have Boozer/Deng/Noah signed to expensive long-term deals. They will have to pay Rose very soon and Taj Gibson will be in line for a big raise as well. I’m not saying them trading for him is impossible, but he’d be a much tougher, maybe near impossible, sell for Chicago if they had to trade for him rather than just sign him post buyout.

      • Aug 23, 20113:58 pm
        by RyanK

        Reply

        I understand what you mean about not wanting to unload their better players to get him.  But I don’t really care about Chicago…  My interest is in Detroit and I think a lot of teams would take him not only for his talent, but also because of his expiring deal in 1-1.5 seasons.
         
        I’m not sure we need to take a rotten deal in return for it.  It’s probably a 1.5 year deal (assuming they have a season starting in Jan.) and the man can play!  This is the NBA, large expiring deals are of great value!
         
        I don’t remember where I read it, but he will likely not be paid as much as hoopshype says.  All NBA players are expensive, but it’s not as expensive as it looks.

  • Aug 23, 20112:29 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    Heat have no PG, no Center, and no bench!! That 1st season luck they had last year wont happen again in this season…I guarantee if they dont trade one of Bosh, James, or Wade and come back this season with that same team, they will be eliminated within the 2nd round of the playoffs…Like I said earlier, get off the bandwagon…

    • Aug 23, 20112:59 pm
      by JoshB

      Reply

      Saying the Heat have no pg or center doesn’t really support them being overrated. It does support that maybe they’re not put together in the most traditional matter, but the original comment was comparing talent to talent, and the Heat are more talented. Now I don’t think the Bulls are far behind, but for all the question marks that the Heat have, I think Chi has just as many. Both teams have to be the poster children for how not to build a team if you actually wanna score points in the half-court.

    • Aug 23, 20113:19 pm
      by neutes

      Reply

      The Heat are far from overrated. They had the top efficiency differential in the NBA, meaning they should have had the best record. The Bulls didn’t have a PG or a C back in the day either, how did that work out for them? The Heat are going to be good every season no matter who they put around Wade, James, and Bosh. That’s just something people are going to have to live with. And the Heat really improved in the playoffs when Haslem came back healthy. That’s what gave them the extra edge to get to the finals, that and Wade playing out of this world.
       
      They aren’t guaranteed to make the finals or beat he Bulls next season however. Rose could suddenly become even better, Boozer and Noah could play completely healthy, Maybe the Bulls make an under the radar signing like JR Smith or Mike Dunleavy that works out perfectly, or maybe the Heat do the same. I don’t know if you can get much worse than Joel Anthony at center so even Kwame would be an improvement. It’s clear those two teams are the cream of the crop in the east no matter how you shake it.

    • Aug 23, 20115:58 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      1st season luck? I think almost everyone who knows anything about the NBA agreed that the Heat had major first season struggles. They didn’t even have that much luck in terms of health. Not terrible since their big 3 were usually available. But their next two best players missed virtually the entire season.
      By the way, if you’re making this guarantee, is there any way we could manage to put some money down on it? Since you are guaranteeing, you must be pretty confident, at least 3:1 odds. I would happily put down half my savings on that.

  • Aug 23, 20112:55 pm
    by SilentBob420BMFJ

    Reply

    BG and Rip for Boozer and one of our other top 5 paid players, which would be required to make the money/contracts match.

  • Aug 23, 20115:02 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    We’re not trading Gordon any time soon, so people better wake up and become a fan of the Stuckey/Gordon/Knight combo guard rotation…If they can work together that rotation should be something special…

    • Aug 23, 20116:00 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      The flaw in your logic there is that even if Gordon isn’t traded, it is possible that Stuckey or Knight is.

  • Aug 23, 20119:00 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    @tarsier what in the world makes you think that?? We could make plenty of trades without including those three!

    • Aug 24, 20111:28 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I’m not saying they will be. Just that it is all quite possible. I think the only players on this team unlikely to leave in the near future are Monroe, Daye, and Jerebko. Monroe because goo young big guys don’t get traded too often and the other two because I think Dumars thinks they are better than probably every other GM in the league.

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