Under regular circumstances, the benching of Detroit’s Richard Hamilton for the second straight game would have raised some red flags. But since Hamilton is involved in the Carmelo Anthony negotiations––the most unprofessional trade in sports history––his benching is really just preparation for his inevitable departure.
Hamilton didn’t see the court on Friday night in a 101-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Since Hamilton has been the Pistons scoring leader for the past seven seasons, many are questioning the decision of second year coach John Kuester to bench his star player.
One of those players is Ben Wallace.
“Man, I really don’t know what to make of it,” Wallace said. “It’s tough because you’ve got a bona fide All-Star in this league. I don’t know. I guess coach has his reasons but I don’t see it. I just don’t see it.”
You’re not the only one, Ben. But then again, no one really understands why or how these trade talks have gotten so much attention, thus causing teams to change they way they would ordinarily deal with players who are about to be traded.
The Pistons are the third team in the mix along with the Nuggets and Nets. The Nets would receive Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Hamilton, while Denver would get Devin Harris, rookie Derrick Favors, two first-round draft picks and several other minor players from the Nets. The Pistons, meanwhile, would receive Troy Murphy, Johan Petro and a second-round pick from the Nets.
Hamilton is averaging 13.2 points and 25.8 minutes per game, his lowest of each since his rookie season of 1999-2000. Although the deal hasn’t come to fruition yet, it is all but a foregone conclusion that Hamilton will not finish out his season in Detroit.