If Richard Hamilton is traded, I will understand the reasoning. With the good days of contending all but over, the direction of the team I would hope would be headed towards youth and freeing/avoiding hefty contracts. In three, four, even five years from now when Detroit could be back in the upper echelon of the East, Hamilton will not be around anyway. Cut your losses now—full blown rebuilding mode here we come.
Though maybe Joe D has some Danny Ainge magic up his sleeve and can make something drastic happen without parting ways with Rip. I’d be on board with that. After all, it’s a very safe bet you know what you’re getting game-in- and-game-out with Rip. He’s like a reliable, comfortable, practical pair of running shoes. Maybe a little worn around the edges, after all, they got tons of miles on them, but they do the job and sometimes the chance of acquiring another pair that may or may not just as endearing is too risky. But sometimes starting fresh is better for everybody involved.
But if Stuckey and Hamilton go into next season as the backcourt, perimeter shooting would still be a major weakness. No consistent three ball threats on the team this past year (Sheed doesn’t count, I’m talking about pos.1-3) –that has to change. All 4 teams still currently in the playoffs have multiple outside weapons. Detroit has not one player whose speciality is knocking down threes. And when a 6’11 vet is your best threat from deep, well, you got problems. A Stuckey-Hamilton backcourt might not cut it, now or ever.
Where I’m possibly going with all of this is quite simple, at least from my point of view: Go young and cheap this offseason, take flyers on players needing a change of scenery, don’t sign guys like Ben Gordon, Carlos Boozer, or even Paul Millsap. What good is a 6th or 7th seed anyways? And don’t tie any money up either. Shop Rip around, maybe New Orleans would be interested. Julian Wright has floundered there, Hilton Armstrong is still young, Tyson Chandler is only 26 (though not cheap). Just an example of what I’d be thinking about for next season.