In his column today, Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press speculates that Brandon Knight’s arrival could likely mean the departure of Ben Gordon. Here’s the rationale:
But getting out from underneath Ben Gordon’s remaining three years at a throat-clutching $33 million would be the proper decision.
Gordon told me prior to the season’s final game that something had to change next season. He didn’t demand a trade but acknowledged regrets about his time here. Gordon has never gotten the opportunity to truly thrive since his arrival two summers ago because he believed his arrival two summers ago would spawn the end of Hamilton’s time in Detroit.
Now Knight’s arrival means either Gordon or Hamilton has to leave by any means necessary.
Now, as Sharp points out, Hamilton seems like the most likely option to go. But he also notes if a lockout shortens the season, Hamilton’s contract actually has a chance of becoming an asset after this season, since it will be expiring. It’s also not fully guaranteed that final year, meaning teams looking to shed payroll might give up something of value to get it, whereas Gordon would still have two more years on his deal after this season.
Also, I don’t think Sharp is off in his assessment that Gordon is pretty unhappy in Detroit. Check out this tweet from Sean Sweeney of Dime Magazine:
just talking to Ben Gordon about his time in Detroit, cut off the question and called it “terrible” so far…is hopeful that’ll change tho
For chemistry reasons, I assume the Pistons will do what they can to move Hamilton. But it doesn’t seem out of the question that they’ll look to ditch Gordon as well, if the lockout doesn’t completely wipe out the offseason, considering Dumars’ public support of Rodney Stuckey since the season ended. It seems, with Knight’s addition, that Stuckey will see significantly more time at shooting guard. Sharp noted that part of Gordon’s frustration is his belief that Hamilton was going to be moved after Gordon signed here. Now, Stuckey is potentially blocking him at shooting guard.