Pistons have been close on a few things with Rip, almost landed Tyson Chandler this summer … but he’s not helping himself right now. I think Charlotte is one of the few teams out there with genuine interest.
Sean from Life on Dumars already tackled a possible Charlotte/Detroit swap with a cap-relieving suggestion of Hamilton and Jason Maxiell for Boris Diaw and DeSagana Diop. That’s a nice, practical trade that certainly gives the Pistons some flexibility.
But I like to be impractical, and I would desperately love to see Gerald Wallace as a member of the Pistons.
- Gerald Wallace
- DeSagana Diop
- Matt Carroll
- Shaun Livingston
- Player option
- Not fully guaranteed
- Team option
- Early termination
From a talent perspective, the Pistons are getting the best player in this trade in Gerald Wallace.
For all of the fans who miss the traditional toughness associated with Pistons basketball, here you go. Wallace is your guy. He hustles, he dives all over the floor, he’s a good defensive player and he’s a good rebounder for a small forward. He’d give the Pistons a very interesting starting frontcourt with Ben Wallace and Greg Monroe joining him.
Unfortunately, to come away with Wallace in this scenario, the Pistons would be taking on two not great contracts to shed themselves of Hamilton’s. Diop is making $21 million for this season and the final two years on his deal. You can bet he’s exercising that player option for $7.3 million in the last year of that deal. And Matt Carroll, although not making a ridiculous sum, is making more than he’s worth at about $12 million through 2012-13. Livingston’s contract is not fully guaranteed in the final year of the deal, so the Pistons could simply release him after next season or use him as an expiring contract next year in another trade.
The plus side to taking on long-term money in this scenario? Diop, though pricey, would at least fill a need as a defensive-minded big body who rebounds and blocks shots. And collectively, with three guys who are overpaid but on a smaller scale than Hamilton is overpaid, it becomes easier to move them in separate deals than it is to move Hamilton. I just can’t see a team taking on Hamilton’s contract and not requiring the Pistons take back bad contracts in return. In this case, at least Diop and Carroll, a good 3-point shooter, can be OK role players.
The Pistons get a player who made the All-Star team last year and makes a pretty reasonable salary for his production level and they clear out a chance for Ben Gordon to start at shooting guard and Austin Daye to get backup minutes at the two and three.
There are a couple draws for Charlotte, although I admit it’s tough to expect the Bobcats to give up their longest-tenured player in Wallace.
They do, however, get significant salary relief for the trouble, picking up nearly $15 million in expiring deals to Prince, Wilcox and Summers. Add in Nazr Mohammed’s nearly $7 million in salary that expires at the end of the season, and Charlotte would be in line for some significant costs coming off the books in the offseason.
The Bobcats, one year after making their first playoff appearance in franchise history, are struggling at 9-16, albeit only 1.5 games out of the eighth spot in the East. Acquiring Hamilton and Prince, two players that Larry Brown is very familiar with, would give Charlotte two veteran wings to add to Stephen Jackson. Hamilton’s ability to score without having to dominate the ball for a full possession could help take pressure off of Jackson on offense and Prince’s ability to run the offense could help take some pressure off of D.J. Augustin, as Charlotte sees a significant drop-off in point guard production with Augustin out of the game.
Admittedly, there’s not a huge incentive to do this trade for Charlotte. They’re essentially swapping out Wallace for Hamilton which is a lose. It just depends on how badly Larry Brown wants to shake up his roster (and let’s be honest, LB has been known to want to shake up a roster or two on occasion) and how desperate Charlotte wants to get out of some long-term money owed to Diop and Carroll.