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Pistons agree to buy out Rip Hamilton

Dec 9, 2011, 6:02 PM EDT

Rip Hamilton

Richard Hamilton has been perfecting his sulking game in Detroit over the last year or so, and the Pistons are finally done with him. According to Perry Farrell of the Detroit Free Press, the Pistons have agreed to buy out Hamilton’s contract and make him an unrestricted free agent.

Farrell makes the important distinction that Hamilton is not being waived by way of the amnesty clause; this is a good old-fashioned buyout, though the terms of which have not yet been disclosed. Regardless, Hamilton’s full $12.5 million will stay on the Pistons’ books for cap purposes this season, along with whatever portion of his salary is guaranteed in 2012-2013. This also means that Hamilton will enter the free agent pool without incident, as opposed to amnestied players who would first enter into an auction system exclusively for teams under the salary cap. Hamilton may immediately sign with the team of his choosing, so long as they have cap room or salary cap exceptions to spare.

The Chicago Bulls — who have been linked to Jamal Crawford, Caron Butler, and various other shooting guard candidates in recent weeks — immediately come to mind as a possible landing spot for Hamilton. Having both Crawford and Hamilton on the market could make both players a bit more affordable, and all things considered, Hamilton seems like a better fit. Hamilton is relentless in his pursuit of open spot-up jumpers, and his work without the ball in his hands would seem to complement Derrick Rose‘s ball-dominant style rather splendidly. Chicago wants the ball in the hands of its best player, and Hamilton — who is also a pesky defender and a competent three-point threat — may be the best wing addition to keep control of the offense with Rose.

That said, if Chicago is looking for another ball handler to alleviate some of the pressure on Rose, Crawford may be their guy, making Hamilton available to what’s sure to be a long list of suitors. With the mess in Detroit behind him, there’s no reason Hamilton can’t be a very productive player for a team in need of backcourt scoring. The deconstructed Pistons just weren’t a good match for him anymore, as evidenced by the mutually beneficial decision to buy out his contract. Hamilton is by no means a player worth some huge salary commitment (he’s 33 years old, after all, and shares in Crawford’s inefficient reliance on mid-range jumpers), but a quality, two-way wing tumbling into the free agent bin could change a number of teams’ plans.

  1. bozosforall - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:30 PM


  2. glink123 - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    If the Bulls don’t get Rip’s signature on a contract by midnight tonight, GarPax should be fired by Sunday. This HAS to get done today.

    • brooklynbulls - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:30 PM

      Exactly. This wait and see approach from the FO is mind numbing, especially when everyone else in the east is getting better. Hopefully they sent Bogans home from practice in anticipation of Rip’s buyout. Detroit’s already picking up the tab for him this season. The Bulls can get him for 3 cigarettes and beer at this point.

      • passerby23 - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:47 PM

        Also agree. Not the creative shot maker that Chicago could use, but all-in-all a pretty damn good fit for Chicago. The hard-nosed Detroit style he’s accustomed to in previous Pistons’ teams will be an easy transition in Chicago’s system too. The Bulls need to make something happen.

      • chicitybulls - Dec 10, 2011 at 2:39 AM

        I gotta disagree. I’d rather have Jason Richardson than Hamilton. He can create his own shot and that’s more what the Bulls need. They already have Korver, they dont need Hamilton too. They’re the same guy (type of player). Maybe Hamilton gives a little more defense than Korver but Rich’s offensive game would be better. Bulls are already a very good defensive team. They need another scorer. Bogans can come in if you need that extra stopper at the end of the game. Him or Brewer if you move Bogans.

  3. mondzy805 - Dec 9, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Can you say, Hello Chicago Rip. We need you and you can Win. Now.

  4. JMil_ATL - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    Forget the rest and come to the ATL. It’s much warmer than Chicago.

  5. brooklynbulls - Dec 10, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    @ chicity I’d rather have JRich as well but he does not want out MLE. He made 14.4 mill last year. There are alot of teams with cap space, which is how we lost out on the now overpaid Butler.
    As far as the Rip/Korver comparison, yes Rip is a FAR better defender, cuts and uses screens better, and has championship experience. He’s simply the best shooting guard on the left on the clearance rack.

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