As part of today’s Daily Dime, I broke down the potential Carmelo Anthony trade from a Pistons perspective:
Pistons president Joe Dumars tried rebuilding while remaining competitive, and he has failed on both counts. Undesirable contracts fill the Pistons’ roster, and Detroit sits 12 games under .500. Few fans believe in Dumars’ plan, and only slightly more believe in him.
But if he can pull off his reported end of the Carmelo Anthony trade — Richard Hamilton for Troy Murphy, with Johan Petro and a draft pick possibly included — the mood surrounding the franchise will dramatically change. Detroiters won’t have to wait a few weeks for Punxsutawney Phil’s verdict. They’ll know winter is ending early.
It has gotten so bleak, fans are clamoring for a trade that would send away the Pistons’ leading scorer the past eight seasons for a forward unlikely to remain on the team next season and a center whom Detroit will take only if he’s packaged with a draft pick.
The biggest benefit of the deal comes in the flexibility of Murphy’s expiring contract. Although plenty of variables need to shake out — the new collective bargaining agreement and the impending free agencies of Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey, Tracy McGrady and Jonas Jerebko — the Pistons could make a run at Nene Hilario, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol,Samuel Dalembert or DeAndre Jordan this summer.
But more immediately, the trade could help the Pistons contend for the playoffs. Murphy’s rebounding and an increased role for Ben Gordon might prove the necessary recipe for Detroit to sneak into the postseason in a dismal Eastern Conference.
Sadly, this would mean the unceremonious end of Hamilton’s Pistons career. Although he helped Detroit win a title and remains the team’s all-time leading playoff scorer, many fans have soured on him after The Detroit News reported a team source said Hamilton "quit" on the team.
Most fans will probably wish Hamilton well — as long as he’s no longer in Detroit. Everyone is ready for a fresh start.