Trading Rip & Tayshaun

There’s been a lot of talk the past few months that the Pistons are going to trade Rip Hamilton and/or Tayshaun Prince. Such talk has been justified ever since the Pistons signed Ben Gordon and drafted Austin Daye, the apparent heirs to Hamilton and Prince, respectively. Not to mention that the Pistons have recently traded/lost Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, and Antonio McDyess. Hamilton has been the more likely candidate to be dealt since Gordon is more than able to start in his place, while Daye is more of an unknown at this point.

It is my opinion that the Pistons will move Rip Hamilton at some point. Ben Gordon is simply a better player than him at this point and it does not make sense to pay him over $10 million a year to come off the bench. Not to mention, I really doubt Hamilton’s performances will warrant his salary for the next 3 years. Not to say he won’t be productive. His game should age well just like Reggie Miller’s, but not enough to justify his $12 million salary in three years. You just cannot have that much money tied into one position. Maybe if it was the point guard or center position, but definitely not at shooting guard.

Hamilton will be difficult to trade because of the length of his contract. And you would not want to trade Hamilton for cap space (like with Billups) because that does not make much sense with a decreasing salary cap. Personally, I’d like to see the Pistons trade Hamilton and Jason Maxiell/Chris Wilcox for a promising young big man. Some potential players like that include Chris Bosh and David Lee.

I had the idea for this article before Prince was injured, so that changes some things with regards to trading him. In light of such news, I think the Pistons should see how the rookies Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko, and DaJuan Summers play this season and possibly try to move Prince next season when he will be on the last year of his contract and much easier to trade.

Ideally Prince would be traded to a team that needs a proven veteran small forward in exchange for a big man. Three teams come to mind are the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trailblazers, and Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers might want Prince as a consolation prize if they can’t acquire LeBron James this upcoming summer while the Blazers have had an interest in Prince for some time. And the Grizzlies might have an interest in Prince if they cannot hold onto restricted free agent Rudy Gay. Players from these teams I wouldn’t mind seeing in Pistons blue include Chris Kaman, Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster, Joel Przybilla, Rudy Gay, and Marc Gasol.

In summary, I personally would like to see both players traded at some point. Ben Gordon is younger, better, and making too much money to come off the bench behind Rip Hamilton. He needs starters’ minutes and the only way to get that is to play other players out of position (bad) or put someone like Rodney Stuckey or Hamilton on the bench is crunch time (even worse).

I would also like to see Prince moved as well because I believe he’s peaked as a player and has been a huge disappointment when it’s mattered most in the playoffs. However, he is (when healthy) the Pistons most valuable trade chip and should be treated as such. If we were discussing this pre-injury, I would say that Prince was too valuable to trade this year since he has no clear backup to replace him like Hamilton does. It is odd though that Joe Dumars drafted Austin Daye, who could be Prince’s twin, except he’s taller, longer, more athletic, cheaper, and a better shooter than Prince

Again, there’s no rush to move either of these two players. The Pistons aren’t going to be contending for a title this year. Let’s wait and see if a playoff caliber team needs a playoff-proven veteran shooting guard or a do-it-all small forward to get them over the hump. The last thing I want is Joe Dumars to trade Hamilton or Prince just to trade them. If the right deal comes along, then pull the trigger by all means.

Topics: Austin Daye, Ben Gordon, DaJuan Summers, Jonas Jerebko, Richard Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince

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  • http://lifeondumars.com/ toasterhands

    Would love to see Kaman here, he’d be a perfect fit I believe.

    And Gay would be some kind of pickup. Superstar potential that those other guys on your list don’t have.

    I think the handwriting is on the wall and both Rip and Prince will not be here at the beginning of next season. But like you said there’s really no rush to move either just for the hell of it, only if an irresistible offer comes about.

  • https://twitter.com/sthomas1127 Stephen Thomas

    I really believe this deadline will be similar to last years. I think teams will be willing to give good players away. I do not think it will be an easy task. I have some ideas below. I do not have their salaries in front of me so I am some what winging it.

    Prince for Kaman (Not my most original idea)

    Prince, Wilcox and Brown for Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake and Joel Przybilla

    Prince and Wilcox for David West and possibly Posey

  • http://twitter.com/nbakays Steve Kays

    @toasterhands

    I wasn’t crazy about Kaman during this past summer, but I’m starting to think his bad season last year was just a mixture of injuries and Clipper-itis. He’s having an awesome year. I don’t know how likely it that the Clips move him though. Camby is 35 and is in the last year of his contract, so trading Kaman doesn’t make much sense for them at the moment.

    Gay would be great, but I have issues w/ his defense and pretty much everything he does besides scoring. But hey, that’s what I thought about Ben Gordon at first and that’s turned out pretty good so far. I doubt Gay is feasible though. He’ll be a RFA and Memphis will probably match any deal that a team throws at him next summer, unless it’s extremely ridiculous. Either way, I don’t see how Detroit gets him.

    Yeah, I’ll be extremely surprised if Rip is still a Piston one year from now. Moving Tay would depend on how Daye/JJ develop and what Detroit can get back for him.

  • http://vittoriodezen.wordpress.com Vic De Zen

    The Pistons are moving on, no need for those guys anymore. I will never understand why they gave Rip that extension to begin with.

    If you’re hoping to get someone like Bosh or Lee back, though, prepare to be disappointed…

  • http://twitter.com/nbakays Steve Kays

    @Stephen Thomas

    Yeah it might be even worse this deadline since the salary cap is supposed to come down even further next season. Although during the 2009 trade deadline, nothing big really happened. So we’ll see.

    I’d be down for something like Prince/Maxiell/Summers for Kaman/Butler.

    That trade w/ Portland works salary-wise. Would I do it? I really don’t know. I like Pryzbila, but he’s already 30.

    The trade w/ NO works salary-wise too. I probably wouldn’t do that one, just because I hate Posey’s contract and it would move probably move CV to the bench.

  • http://twitter.com/nbakays Steve Kays

    @Vic De Zen

    Yeah the Billups trade got all the attention, but the Rip extension is looking like a poor decision in light of the Gordon signing.

    No, I’m not hoping for those guys. I mean, it’d be nice, but I’m realistic.

  • http://pacmanjonesin.com Drew

    Wait…Joe Dumars made some bad decisions? I refuse to believe it.

    Chris Bosh? David Lee? David West? None of those guys will be playing for the Pistons in the near future. Dumars should deal both Prince & Rip but he’s not going to get much back in return.

  • http://twitter.com/nbakays Steve Kays

    @Drew

    Of course Joe Dumars has made bad decisions. He’s human. Show me a GM that hasn’t made mistakes. Still, there’s only a couple guys I’d rather have leading my team than JoeD.

    I agree that those three players are long shots. But then again, who would have ever thought AI would be a Piston at some point (regardless of his contract etc.)?

    Dumars probably will deal them both at some point but there’s no rush.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ Ben Gulker

    Obviously, moving Rip is a very real possibility. Not because of his play and not because he is aging (and I agree, his game will age very well over the next 3 years). It’s simple finances. Given a shrinking cap, we simply cannot afford to pay 20+ million to two shooting guards.

    But here are the two rubs:

    1) Every other GM in the league knows this, which is going to drive Rip’s trade value down. And as Steve noted, moving him for cap space would be stupid because of the cap projections. If you move Rip for a 12 million dollar expiring deal, you may only net 5-7 million in cap space. Personally, I’d rather just save Rip and use the MLE than dump his salary.

    2) Rip’s contract is long AND expensive. Extending Rip after trading (?) Chancey was a huge blunder. Rip would be on an expiring deal this season had we not extended him … how valuable would that contract be right now?!?! Name a title contender, and I’ll name a team who’d have been interested in Rip for one year at ten million.

    I personally agree with Steve: Tay is our most valuable trade chip. I think that packaging him with Kwame/Max what will most likely return us what we need over the long-term.

    As someone else noted, I anticipate some drastic movement as the trade deadline approaches. There are teams that simply have to dump salary, as they are either over the tax threshold now or will be well over it next year — and none of those teams are contenders as a result of their salaries.

    Patience will be key for us as fans. Our roster is currently incoherent. Everyone knows it. But something’s bound to change, because of the landscape of the entire association. I’m just hoping Joe has an Ace up his sleeve…

  • Pingback: Trading Rip & Tayshaun « NBA Kays

  • http://twitter.com/nbakays Steve Kays

    @brgulker

    Good points all across the board.

    On moving Rip, yeah that extension is looking bad and yeah he has a long and expensive contract, but in this league there really are no such things as untradeable contracts. See Randolph, Zach for such an example.

    And it’s unfortunate that Tay is injured, especially since the great thing about him trade-wise (his health) no longer exists.

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