Charlotte is having a tough time at the two guard, as Stephen Jackson isn't working well with Larry Brown and the depth behind him is short at best. Jackson will face a one game suspension tomorrow (Wednesday) for a recent ejection, and he's been far less than apologetic about his problems with referees and how they're effecting his team. Larry Brown said today:
"I don't know how things are going to change," Brown told The Charlotte Observer. "I understand from his perspective what's going on, but that's the way it is: As hard as it is for a player to understand that, you've got to play through (emotion).
Sure, Hamilton has faced two ejections this season, but it's not a problem for Detroit when he is backed up by Ben Gordon. The crux of the following trade idea is that Hamilton might be welcomed by Larry Brown, and might treat a new role on a new team with a renewed sense of importance. Detroit should have no interest in Stephen Jackson, so a three-way trade may help Charlotte resolve its problems with Jackson, it might help a third partner add veteran talent at the 2 (where depth isn't a problem) and it could bring an expiring deal back to Detroit. Here's how it could work:
Charlotte: Stephen Jackson and DaSagana Diop to Sacramento for Richard Hamilton from Detroit
Sacramento: Samuel Dalembert to Detroit for Stephen Jackson and DaSagana Diop from Charlotte
ESPN Trade Machine Results: http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=335lqoy
The crux of this trade is based on the chemistry problems of Stephen Jackson in Charlotte, and the assumption that Larry Brown would welcome the return of Richard Hamilton to his roster and playbook. Both Hamilton and Jackson have issues with technical fouls and ejections, but it's fair to assume that playing for Larry Brown again would have a positive impact on Rip's demeanor and production.
Sacramento has a need for a veteran talent on the wing, a player who can swap between the 2 and the 3 and make things work with Evans at the point. Jackson's salary isn't too hard to swallow, and depsite his problems in Indiana he's shown that he can be an effective voice as a captain for a young team through his performance in Oakland. It could be a boon for the Kings, and replacing Dalembert with a starting Cousins or Thompson with Diop off the bench would make for a smooth transition from their current situation. Furthermore, Diop expires next season, and is owed just over $6M when his contract ends.
Detroit, obviously, gets out of Hamilton's contract. There are few scenarios where a team might welcome Hamilton and his contract, and without Larry Brown there's not way Charlotte does this deal. Chances are slim to none even with Brown, but it's not like the Bobcats wouldn't take a day or two to think about it. Last, Detroit's addition of Dalembert could help turn a team around that is in dire need of rebounding, shot blocking and defense at the 5, as the Benaissance is fading like the Pazzi Conspiracy is at his doorstep.
This trade doesn't make Detroit a winner, but there aren't any likely trades that could. It helps resolve our tough contractual obligations and brings in an underrated player that can immediately help our frontcourt (not to mention his expiring deal). We may need to involve picks or young talent to get it done, but this is the situation Dumars has gotten this team into and sacrifices must be made.
Why wouldn't Charlotte and Sacramento get in bed with a team like Atlanta instead, who has $10M expiring with Jamal Crawford? First, Sacramento needs a veteran wing player who they can build around, and there's no guarantee Crawford won't just bolt after the end of the season for a potential winner. They would essentially be moving an expiring deal for an expiring deal in that case. Jackson gives them a few years to build something consistent, and the salary obligations with Jack are not overbearing. Charlotte could just send Jackson to Atlanta for Crawford straight up, but the point is that Atlanta needs cap relief, so that wouldn't work. With these players involved, a three-team trade works best. But again, the entire rationale revolves around the history between Larry Brown and Rip Hamilton, and the fact that Stephen Jackson is not working with the system Brown is hoping to develop for the Bobcats.
What say you?