Rip Hamilton waived, 'will most likely join Bulls'

Richard Hamilton will be waived by the Pistons, but not amnestied, so the Pistons are gonna be on the hook for a lot of money. A couple of pretty credible journalists seem pretty sure he's going to become a Bull:

Rip will most likely join the Bulls... #Pistons
Dec 09 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

#Celtics would love a shot at landing recently waived Rip Hamilton. However, front-office exec says he will most likely join the #Bulls.
Dec 09 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

Hamilton clearly had his worst season last year, but it was still pretty good. There was no secret that he was disgruntled (to say the least) with the coach and management. Before last trade deadline, the Bulls were rumored to have explored the option of acquiring him, but Detroit didn't buy him out. Now they have, so Rip has to be included in a list of potential signees by the Bulls this offseason.

Hamilton's always been a good-enough defender, greatly helped by his 6'6"-6'7" frame at the shooting guard position. Once regarded as having one of the best mid-range jumpshots in the game, his FG% dropped to .410 at 16-to-23 feet from the basket after .430 and .420 the prior two seasons. His FG% at 10-to-15 feet has plummeted since shooting at .470 during the 2007-08 season to .410, .415, and an awful .353 the next three seasons.

That said, other than the .297 mark from 2009-10, his 3P% hasn't been lower than .368 over the last four seasons and over 70% of his FGs have been assisted over the last three seasons -- 78.1% a year ago. So not too much dribbling as he gets older and will create off the ball -- a skill overlooked in the great SG search, forgetting that the #1 scorer on the Bulls is the point guard.

Sadly, the shooting efficiency just hasn't been there for Rip. His career TS% is a .527 you can live with (I guess) and not on a severe downfall, as his eFG% last season (.470) is exactly that of his career. the difference is that he wouldn't be asked to be more than a fourth -- periodically third -- option for the Bulls. Whether or not this would simply improve his shot selection is the upside; the downside is that the limited touches would turn him into a whiny ballstopper, trying to force a bucket with every touch.

The Bulls have $5 million to throw at him. If Jason Richardson won't take it, the Bulls can certainly do worse than gamble on Rip.

Other notes:

  • Keith Bogans was at the first day of camp. The Bulls haven't exercised their team option on him yet, though he is under contract through Dec. 19, but pulled from the floor in the middle of practice "With the Bulls exploring other shooting guard options, management is being careful and preventing Bogans from sustaining an injury. [...] Bogans' nonguaranteed contract would be a chip in a larger trade to upgrade the shooting guard position," K.C Johnson reported. Maybe it shouldn't be assumed that Bogans will be a Bull this season.
  • Brian Scalabrine, John Lucas III, and Luther Head filled out the training camp roster on top of the usual suspects.
  • Vince Carter is reportedly "close" to a multi-year deal with the Mavericks.

Stats via Hoopdata.com.

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