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An inside look at the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chauncey Billups supports former teammate Richard Hamilton

Teammates Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace have voiced their opinions in support of Richard Hamilton, add Chauncey Billups to the list of members of the 2004 NBA championship team to support Hamilton.

After the Nuggets defeated the Pistons, 109-100, Wednesday night Billups showed his support for Hamilton.

“He's Pistons royalty,” Billups said. “He's one of the greats, and his jersey is going up into those rafters, so he doesn't deserve to be disrespected like this.”

It appeared Billups and Hamilton might be reunited in New Jersey if the rumored three-team trade involving the Nets, Detroit and Denver went through, but that trade is currently dead.

Billups has kept in contact with Hamilton through all the rumors and Hamilton’s benching. Billups said he's just tried to encourage Hamilton.

“I just told him to be continue to be a professional and do what you do,” Billups said. “He’s dealing with blatant disrespect, and I don't think that guys like Rip, Tay and Ben should be treated like that, especially for this team where they did so much. I talk to Tay a lot too, but he’s playing. Nothing has really changed for him. He’s playing well, and his situation really hasn’t changed.”

Billups finally got to enjoy a win in his return trip to The Palace. Billups lost his first two trips back to Detroit, but scored 26 points in the Nuggets win at The Palace Wednesday.

“I love coming back here and feeling the love for all the blood and sweat I left in this building,” said Billups, who received a loud ovation during the pre-game introductions. “It’s fun, because I’m home. It’s fun. I love getting the ovations, and showing the people what they’ve missed. I never wanted to leave here. Everyone knows that. I wanted to retire here.”

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rumored Richard Hamilton deal is alarming

News broke Friday that the New Jersey Nets are trying to incorporate the Pistons into a three-team deal involving Denver and Carmelo Anthony.

The Nets reportedly offered the Pistons the expiring deal of Troy Murphy and Johan Petro for Richard Hamilton and Detroit’s first-round pick.

Two things make it clear this deal won’t happen: One, Detroit is not giving up its first-round pick, which is currently on pace to be, at minimum, a top-10 selection. Two, the Pistons don’t want to take on Petro who, after this season, still has two years and nearly $7 million left on his current deal.

The thing that makes this rumor remarkable to me, is how low Hamilton’s value really is based on this trade rumor.

Hamilton is a former All-Star and world champion and has led the Pistons in scoring the last eight years.

It’s clear Hamilton’s current deal (which still has two years and more than $25 million left) is, to put it mildly, bad, but think about the Nets’ offer.

In order to take on Hamilton, the Nets want the Pistons to give up a first-round lottery pick and want to unload Petro and his bad deal on Detroit.

And to top it off, the Nets called the Pistons thinking Detroit would be interested in the deal. How far has Hamilton’s value really dropped if that’s the type of offers the Pistons are getting?

The Nets are rumored to be interested in Hamilton because they hope it will help lure Anthony and persuade him to signing a extension. The Nets won’t trade for Anthony, who has an expiring deal, unless he agrees to an extension first.

If the Nets get desperate, they could offer Murphy and his expiring deal straight up for Hamilton. The Pistons would likely jump on this offer, and should.

Detroit would enter the offseason with plenty of flexibility. Tayshaun Prince, Chris Wilcox, Tracy McGrady, and Murphy will all be unrestricted free agents, while Rodney Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko will be a restricted free agents.

Of course, the cloud hanging over all that is the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement at the end of the season. But things would still be looking up if the Pistons could find a way to unload Hamilton’s contract without taking on any bad deals in return.