Great win for Detroit last night against Denver! Check out Natalie Sitto's summary at Need4Sheed (or maybe Need4Swede soon).
I want to get into other stuff today: Why I think Rip Hamilton is going to be traded this season or during the offseason. It pains me as much to write as for you guys to read it, and this is just an assumption but looking at our roster right now, there's a good chance Joey D is thinking alike.
My assumption is based on the current roster and which player would be most dispensible and has the biggest value. We don't have a lot of big men and some of them aren't playing well (I'm talking to you Chris Wilcox, actually the rest has been great, I used the plural to make you feel better).
So it wouldn't be good to trade one of our big men plus it's highly unlikely we'd get a scoring big men for Chris Wilcox. Ben Wallace is untouchable, mainly because the league has probably accepted he can only play at an all-star level for Detroit, although his dollar for dollar production should be among the best in the league.
At Power Forward we have Charlie V, Jason Maxiell and Jonas Jerebko, Jonas at Small Forward too along with Austin Daye and DeJuan Summers. Although the latter two have shown flashes of good play, they still remain rookies, so when Tay returns I wouldn't mind having 4 Small Forwards in the rotation.
Then we have this heavy guard rotation! Will Bynum, Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon, Rip, Chucky Atkins. Chucky doesn't need minutes, but still Rod Stuck feels more comfortable at the two, WAY more comfortable, Ben Gordon is a 2 too, and Rip, well, yeah, you guessed it, a Shooting Guard. Joey D won't give up Gordon and Stuckey, so Rip might be the odd man out. We have too many two guards and Rip has real value on the trade market so we might have to exploit the option and get used to a line-up without Rip. We've gotten good play from our guards even without him so we aren't dependent on him anymore, I'd look to trade him for a glaring need in our rotation, a scoring big man. Ok, I know, lots of teams have thought that kind of player would get them into contention (Philly anyone?).
So here are my Big Men to watch!
Elton Brand - I know, he currently sucks! But he's been starting to show flashes of his old self, if he keeps getting better until February and remains uncomfortable coming off the bench and keeps coming off the bench he might be a great catch. I know, the Iverson signing makes it unlikely, but who knows if he'll still be there in February ...
Jermaine O'Neal - Yeah, I know he isn't the best PF in the league anymore, he's slower and everything has decreased but he's still more capable of scoring down low than any big guy we have right now. Plus Miami is desperate to get Wade a little help. Rip could let Wade handle the ball and be a catch and shoot guy like he was with Chauncey, boy, I miss that! Also, the Palace brawl stands in the way.
Nenad Krstic - He's one of my favorite big men in the league. The Thunder might have to throw in another player, either a guy like Etan Thomas (great for the locker room) or a young player like James Harden. Krstic could space the floor, allow dribble penetration, he has a great shooting touch and go to moves in the post. He would actually be a good fit in my opinion.
Mehmet Okur/Carlos Boozer - I would just like to see Memo back. I like shooting big men, but I don't really think it's going to happen. With Boozer it's a different story, Joey D might be able to get him and Utah could use an uprade at the two-guard position.
Free Agency - If the Pistons should not be in the playoff hun in February you could trade Rip for cap space and the current set-up of the team could lure coming free-agents like Chris Bosh or Amaré Stoudemire. Detroit has a lot of pieces in place to be a contender again, there's just a little bit missing.
I don't think the Pistons necessarily need a back-to-the-basket player à la Elton Brand, I think Chris Bosh or Stoudemire would actually be perfect for the Pistons, but let's be patient and I'm sure Joey D will do the right thing!