NBA / Jun 1, 2010 / 3:45 pm

Rip Hamilton or Tayshaun Prince: Who should the Pistons trade?

Tayshaun Prince (photo. Keith Allison)

This should have happened a year ago. The Detroit Pistons, not too far removed from the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals, earned a trip to the Lottery podium for the first time in a long time — and now talk around the franchise is all about renovating and rebuilding.

Rodney Stuckey has a critical season in front of him if he wants to be the go-to guy. Jonas Jerebko was one of the biggest positive surprises of ’09 rookie class. The Pistons have a Top-10 draft pick in their pocket to get another future foundation piece, and ’09 free agent signees Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva will be given every chance to be VIP’s in their second year under second-year coach John Kuester.

But what about the old guard? In something of an identity-crisis year for Detroit, they tried to successfully initiate the young guys while keeping a lot of the old guys around: Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, all alumni of the 2004 NBA championship team. Not that any of the veterans caused complaints — Rip led the team with 18.1 points per game, Wallace was the leading rebounder at 8.7 boards a night, and Prince was the best three-point shooter, hitting 37 percent of his treys — but now it’s time to truly begin a new era in Motown. Wallace is a free agent who may be looking to go to a contender, and while Prince and Hamilton were involved in trade rumors last summer, it’s more likely one of them gets dealt this time. From the Detroit Free-Press:

Since the team has too many players at small forward and shooting guard, Prince or Hamilton is the most likely to go so the team can move forward.

At guard, the Pistons have Ben Gordon, Hamilton, Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey, plus a possible experiment with Austin Daye at shooting guard. At small forward, the Pistons have Prince, Jonas Jerebko (who could develop into a power forward), Daye and DaJuan Summers.

Prince, in the final year of his deal that is set to pay him $11 million, might be the wiser option to keep.

“Tayshaun is more versatile and he’s younger,” said Bill Duffy, Prince’s agent. “He’s the perfect complementary player, and I don’t think there’s any question that Rip is the kind of player who is in need of the ball. He’s a great scorer, but obviously not as versatile as Tayshaun. Tayshaun can blend better with the new players that they have and the younger crew.”

Despite the obvious bias, Duffy is right. Tayshaun (30) is two years younger than Rip (32) and gives the Pistons more in terms of defense and his ability to play multiple positions. And Prince doesn’t have to be The Man when he’s on the floor, which is vital if the Pistons are trying to experiment and introduce new primary scorers.

Then again, Rip could be the one to stick around for a few reasons. Primarily, he’s going to be harder to trade, considering his contract has three years and $37.8 million left on it, while Prince’s deal is expiring. And while Rip is technically older, there’s a good chance Prince is aging in dog years and will be less durable down the road. Prince has a ton of mileage on him after going like seven seasons without missing a game, while Rip is one of the best-conditioned athletes in the NBA.

If you’re running the Pistons, who would you look to trade?

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  • Nigel

    Trade em both. Stop trying to hang on the past. You got all of these younger players and still got these 2 around wasting what they have left in their careers on a team with no chemistry. LET IT GO JOE. CONSECUTIVE TRIPS TO THE CONFERENCE FINALS ARE OVER; for the time being that is.

  • YpsiRickitheDragon

    Both its full time rebuild mode

  • UncheckedAggression

    When is this “Rodney Stuckey is the future of the Pistons” bullshit going to end? People still think that? If he’s gonna be your go-to guy, how high do you expect your ceiling to be?

  • Brazzle

    Yeah I agree stuckey’s nice but definitaley not the franchise. Joey Dumars needs to just blow up the team, trade both rip and prince. Hell maybe even stuckey, rebuild mode to the fullest.

  • karizmatic

    Personally I would trade them both, but if I was only looking to trade one it would depend on what type of team I was trying to build. If I wanted an uptempo run and gun team I would keep Prince, if I wanted a slower halfcourt team I would keep Rip.

    With the personnel they already have it would probably make more sense for them to go with the uptempo game and trade Rip.

  • Jah

    Trade Rip Hamilton first. Clear up room for Ben Gordon to get shots.

  • Celts Fan

    They’ve dropped the ball so badly the past few years it doesn’t matter. Moving Chauncey was insanely stupid, then tying up almost $100 mil in 2 guys that don’t play D and are fringe starters (especially Villanueva) was even worse! Draft the best player available then move based on that. Either way, Joey D signed/traded them into the lottery and irrelevance for the next 3-5 years anyway barring a HUGE hit in the draft.

  • malik

    trade rip. in the few pistons games i saw this season it seemed like tayshaun was the one distributing and controlling the offense. tayshaun’s got a way higher iq for the game, is better defensively, and is worth spending money on if only to mentor the younger players.

  • chief youngblood

    i would trade rip , but i’d love to see Prince in a hornets jersey.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Royal

    Rip come back to d.c,you won’t have play in old man Jordans shadow anymore

  • Big T

    If you look at the Pistons roster, they’re overloaded with guys who can score and don’t fill up the rest of the stat sheet. You need to keep a guy like Prince to do the intangibles… dump Rip and move on.

  • chris

    rip and tayshaun are 15-20 minute a game players now; rip for offense, tayshaun for flexibility and defence. gordon and villenueva are defensively incapable, and with all that $ in their pockets, will never learn. that leaves stuckey, bynum, jerebko, daye, summers, and a good draft pick in a good draft. keep wallace, draft the biggest live body you can get (hassan whiteside? daniel orton?), dump gordon, villaneuva, rip and tayshaun for whatever you can get.

  • Al

    Both. It’s time to get something for them while you can

  • asmaticasiatic2

    get rid of rip, need more athleticism,someone who can get to the rack…tired of rip’s soft midrange game with nothing else….

  • Tim

    trade both for Elton Brand.

  • zcw

    I don’t understand this article. What is the core? Villanueva and Gordon? Villanueva was relegated to the bench by the end of the season and Gordon was plagued with injuries all year. Dumars screwed up signing Villanueva, and Gordon. He should have waited a year and went for, Bosh, Boozer, Amare.( I won’t pretend that Wade or Lebron would even think about coming here). I don’t think they should trade either of them, but I’m from Detroit and I’ve got a lot of love for both of those guys. Plus look who Dumars replaced the other guys from the championship team with, Nazr, Villanueva, Kwame Brown, a drunk A.I. Dudes been rolling snake eyes lately

  • stumpy

    heres an idea.. can the mavs swap marion or butler for gordon. remember how cold ben was against the Cs in the playoffs for the baulls, eggsactly what the Mavs are in need of.. that way the pistons get rid of his awful contract and mavs improve at the sg positon (their biggest need besides resigning haywood at C).

  • GV13

    There isnt much they can do if u ask me, they are gunna be irrelevant for years. they should trade who ever they can and blow it up, hopefully getting some young pieces in return. new orleans could do with a scorer, how bout rip for pejas contract and darren collison.

  • @BklynDre

    trade rip, tayshaun can still hav a future there

  • ReddiRed

    there’s a possibility that both can be kept…..
    i probably would look harder at move Charlie V. and/or BGordon.
    I would send Charlie V. to Charlotte for Peja & Darren Collison.
    Then I would look at moving BGordon & Kwame or Chris Wilcox to: (Dallas for Haywood)
    BGordon/Kwame & Chris Wilcox (+plus cash if needed) to Philly for Elton Brand & No. 2 pick.

    Those 2 were bad signings….
    If i had to chose, i probably would keep Charlie V. for 12-15 point quarters he can give you.
    But Ben Gordon??? no way, he’s garbage.
    He tricked everyone into thinking that he was that deal by having 1 or 2 good scoring series a couple of years ago in the playoffs……….womp wooomp! bad call.

  • Cordell

    Trade BOTH! They are in rebuild mode so why not dump these guys and get some cap room. You are paying Gordon and Villaneuva a bundle as well and u need to decide if Stuckey is your franchise man….big decisions.

  • http://www.espn.com jalen fuller

    i think the pistons should keep Tayshaun and trade rip and jason maxiell for dwayne wade.

  • http://www.espn.com jalen fuller

    trade Rip and Stuckey for either Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, or Amare

  • coachmurdog

    @Reddi Red

    Peja and Darren Collison are in New Orleans, not Charlotte… I know, I know; both teams had/have the Hornets name… I miss the Charlotte Hornets, haha

  • ReddiRed

    ^^^^^ thanks man. slip of the fingers…

  • pegasus

    Look at Boston and Detroit the year they won it all it’s all about defense. Get rid of the guys that can’t play defense Gordon and Charlie V, Rip and Prince both know what it takes to win and can play D. Draft a Big that has a good attitude likes some contact and can play some DEFENSE

  • http://none Craig

    If Tayshaun is more versatile, younger and his contract is expiring, shouldn’t he be the player that’s easier to trade? RIP has 3 years and 37.8M left on his contract and is not as versatile as Tayshaun (according to agent Duffy) making him much more difficult to trade. Teach RIP to dribble better and move him to point guard. That way RIP and Ben Gordon can play at the same time and let Stuckey back up RIP until he gets better. Let Ben Wallace go, sign Bosh and DRAFT A BIG MAN. We need someone that can score in the low post.

  • Krysta & Chelsea

    In our opinion maybe Rip n Tayshaun haven’t been doin that great lately but they R the dynamic duo of the team… I would keep both of them, just like I would have kept Chauncey!!!