Posted: Jan. 10, 2011 Pistons await Nets', Nuggets' sign-off on trade
By Vince Ellis
Free Press Sports Writer
After being trade bait for a while, Rip Hamilton finally might be on the move.
But the Pistons are still waiting this morning to see if the Nets and Nuggets can work out the final details of a blockbuster three-team trade.
As initially reported by the Bergen (N.J.) Record late Friday night and confirmed by the Free Press, the longtime Pistons shooting guard could be on the move to the Nets for Troy Murphy and his expiring contract.
It’s part of a blockbuster three-team deal involving the Nuggets that would land the Nets superstar Carmelo Anthony.
Hamilton is at the team's shoot-around today.
After initially being reluctant to take on center Johan Petro’s contract, which has two years and $6.75 million left on it, Yahoo! Sports and ESPN reported that the Pistons would likely have to bite the bullet and take him on as part of the deal. Adding his deal lowers the salary-cap savings to $7 million.
The Pistons would have little choice as they have struggled to unload Hamilton’s two years and guaranteed $21.5 million over the next two seasons. But the Pistons could get a draft pick from the Nets to make the pill more easy to swallow. The Pistons are at the current roster limit of 15 players so they would likely have to part with a young player with a small salary to take back two players.
But it’s a good move for the Pistons. Toss in Tayshaun Prince’s and Chris Wilcox’s expiring contracts, $11.5 million and $3 million, respectively, and the Pistons would have valued salary-cap room and multiple draft picks entering the off-season.
When the story first broke Friday, the Nets initially wanted the Pistons’ first-round pick in exchange for taking Hamilton’s contract off their hands. The Free Press reported the Pistons wouldn’t even consider parting with the likely lottery pick.
If the trade is completed, Prince and Ben Wallace will be the remaining holdovers from the Pistons’ 2004 NBA champion.
Multiple media outlets are reporting the other details, including that the Nets also will get Anthony and the Nuggets’ Chauncey Billups, a former Piston, backup guard Anthony Carter and center Sheldon Williams; Denver gets Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Anthony Morrow, Stephen Graham, Quinton Ross, Ben Uzoh and potentially multiple first-round picks.
Murphy, in his ninth year in the NBA, has a career average of 11.8 points and 8.5 rebounds. Petro, in his fifth season, averages 4.9 points and four rebounds.
Contact VINCE ELLIS: 313-222-6479 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. Read more in his Pistons blog at freep.com/pistonsblog and follow him on Twitter @freeppistons.
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