Everyone but Stuckey is on the block; Rip likely has the most value
By DREW SHARP • FREE PRESS COLUMNIST • June 8, 2008
Rip Hamilton isn't an untouchable.
The only "sacred cow," as Joe Dumars phrased it last week, who isn't on the trading block is rookie Rodney Stuckey.
Hamilton will draw more in the open market than anybody else on that roster. He's 30 and a three-time All-Star, and it's always easier finding another scorer.
The idea of Chauncey Billups being more expendable than Hamilton because there's already a replacement point guard in Stuckey is gravely flawed, because when Dumars drafted Stuckey with the 15th overall selection, he envisioned a future backcourt of two big hybrid guards, both capable of running the point or working for shots off the ball.
Opposing playoff teams aggressively trap Billups at mid-court, forcing him to give up the ball before he can get the team into his half-court offensive sets. They do this knowing that Hamilton is incapable of setting up the offense. His strength is strictly away from the ball, running his defender through endless screens.
A backcourt of Billups and Stuckey effectively negates that strategy.