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.