Joe Dumars did this once before. He added virtually every vital piece of Detroit’s championship team bit-by-bit through trades and the Draft. In 2000, he acquired Ben Wallace via trade. In ’02, he added Tayshaun Prince through the Draft and Rip Hamilton by dealing Jerry Stackhouse. In ’04, Joe D picked up Rasheed Wallace in a trade.
The biggest difference between building that championship-caliber squad and his task this offseason, is that he’s attempting to do all of this in one year.
He laid about $90 million on the line last week, signing both Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Now, he’s contemplating a move that could provide some cap relief down the line.
Talks continue between the Pistons and Jazz about a Carlos Boozer-Rip Hamilton trade. Hamilton didn’t fit with Allen Iverson this season, and he won’t fit with newly acquired Ben Gordon.
As Bob Finnan points out, Hamilton wasn’t too fond of playing next to a shoot-happy guard. And as we saw last year, an unhappy Hamilton opened Pandora’s box. Rip has a ton of time and money left on his deal – it’s smart to try to move him before he asks out and his trade value plummets.
The money is also a factor. Carlos Boozer’s deal expires after this season. If Detroit wants to play in the open market of 2010, they’d be smart to move Rip for an expiring contract. Plus, they can test out Boozer for an entire year to see if he works well in their system before going after him with a monster offer. I’m sure the Sixers would have loved to try out this whole Elton Brand experience before actually putting the ink on the page. If it doesn’t work, they’ll have more resources to throw a big deal at Chris Bosh.
It makes a ton of sense for Utah as well. They’d be able to go after Paul Millsap as aggressively as Oklahoma City plans to, while still getting value in exchange for Boozer. Hamilton would get back in a system where he plays with a true point guard.
This is one of those rare situations in which both teams come out on top in a trade.