Rip Hamilton benched amid trade talks
The Detroit Pistons are in a holding pattern as they await the finishing pieces of a blockbuster trade to fall into place, leaving veteran players to question the moves of their second-year coach.
The Pistons held out their contribution to the deal -- Richard Hamilton -- for the third straight game Saturday night in a 110-106 win over the visiting Sacramento Kings. Hamilton has been the team's scoring leader for the past seven seasons.
I've never been in this situation my whole career. I don't know where to look.” -- Pistons guard Richard Hamilton
"Man, I really don't know what to make of it," Pistons center Ben Wallace said Friday night, according to the Detroit News. "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."
The Pistons are the third wheel in a deal with the Nuggets and Nets that continues to develop. 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.
"This is a very different situation for me," Hamilton said. "I've never been in this situation my whole career. I don't know where to look."
Hamilton said he's consulted his agent about the sudden lack of court time, but has not spoken with anyone else, including Pistons coach John Kuester.
Hamilton is averaging 13.2 points and 25.8 minutes per game, his lowest of each since his rookie season of 1999-2000.
"Do I want to play?" Hamilton said. "Yes. Do I want to be on the floor competing? Yes. Am I doing that right now? No. I want to play, I want to get on the floor, I want to get an opportunity to do something that I love to do."
Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince also expressed frustration.
"I am mad. Anger as far as now," Prince said, according to the Detroit newspaper. "When I look at it I see so many things he can help us with on the floor now."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.