For the past five games, Rip Hamilton has been watching his Detroit Pistons play and racking up DNP-CDs. He was being saved — Hamilton was the Pistons piece in the three-team Carmelo Anthony trade, a move that would have freed up some cap space for the Pistons. Then Mikhail Prokhorov pulled the rug out from under the deal.
So Hamilton slides back into the lineup and… not so fast.
In those five games the Pistons have played probably their best basketball of the season. They have three wins (one over Dallas) and one loss was a very close one to the Celtics where Detroit led much of the way.
That leaves Detroit with some tension and coach John Kuester in a tough spot, according to the Detroit News.
“I know he’s bothered by it,” forward Charlie Villanueva said. “It’s not Rip. It was a matter of us learning to play well. It was bad timing…”
“You’re talking about a guy that’s a tremendous competitor and he wants to (play),” Kuester said. “I’m sure he’s very proud of the way the guys have been working.
“He’s part of the Detroit Pistons. You see his work ethic and he’s trying to do things the right way. You never know when his number is going to be called.”
If at some point the ‘Melo to the Nuggets trade is revived, the Pistons will be ready. If not, they are looking at other potential trade partners, according to the report. It mentions Chicago and Utah as teams looking for a two guard, although how much either would offer for Hamilton right now is unclear.
For now Hamilton still sits because the team is playing well without him. Meanwhile the front office looks for a solution.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.
First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.
Three quick takeaways here:
1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.
2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.
3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.
(Hat tip reddit)
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.