The Detroit Pistons have waived longtime shooting guard Richard Hamilton, the Detroit Free Press reports. He was not cut under the amnesty provision, according to reports.
The Free Press:
Hamilton is owed $22 million over the next two seasons. He was set to make $13 million this season before the lockout and $9 million next season.
His contract is expected to be bought out by the Pistons and then he would be able to sign with another team.
Hamilton, who is not at the Pistons’ practice facility today for the opening of training camp, has been with the team since before the 2002-03 season.
Hamilton, 33, averaged 14.1 points in 55 games last season.
While the re-signing of Tayshaun Prince surprised a lot of fans, I’m sure many of the same fans are equally surprised at this move. And the fact that he was released without using amnesty clause is significant. It could be a sign that while Hamilton had run his course, the team is taking a wait and see approach with the remaining members of the dysfunctional and underperforming club. If Charlie Villanueva or Ben Gordon can’t prove they belong this year, they are still candidates to be amnestied next season.
It also is an important sign under the ownership of Tom Gores. While many were puzzled at the Prince contract, it showed he was willing to spend money to retain a quality player even while the team is rebuilding. And like it or not, quality wise, Prince was the best option available. It was either sign Prince or let him go and get slightly worse. The Hamilton move also showed resolve from Gores. Instead of trading Hamilton to a team with a first-round pick as a sweetner just to get him out of the organization, Gores was willing to swallow the contract and let Hamilton walk. Now the Pistons have a slightly more coherent rotation and their first-round pick in 2012.