Former Pistons, where are they now?

by | Dec 17, 2011 | 32 comments

A lot of moves have happened recently in the NBA, so let’s catch up on where our favorite former Pistons have landed:

  • Chauncey Billups was waived via the amnesty clause from the New York Knicks, and was claimed by the LA Clippers
  • Chris Wilcox signed a contract with the Boston Celtics
  • Richard Hamilton was waived via contract buyout from the Detroit Pistons, and was signed to a free agent deal by the Chicago Bulls
  • DaJuan Summers signed a contract with the New Orleans Hornets
  • Tracy McGrady has signed with the Atlanta Hawks
  • John Kuester was hired by the LA Lakers to be an Assistant Coach to Head Coach Mike Brown

A lot of you didn’t like what I had to say about Richard Hamilton’s time in Detroit, as a member of the Pistons.  Allow me to clarify:

  • I don’t blame Hamilton for the Pistons problems.
  • I don’t think Hamilton was the ring leader of last year’s buffoonery, but he was a willing participant.
  • Hamilton is one of the greatest Pistons in the history of the franchise.
  • Aside from Chauncey Billups, there is not a guy on the team I would trust more with a game winning shot than Hamilton.
  • It is not Hamilton’s problem he signed a virtually untradeable contract, he was offered the contract.
  • You can’t blame Hamilton for thinking he can still play at a high level, he was only 32 last year and is in great shape.

I believe Rip has the chance to be the “Rasheed Wallace” type of acquisition for last season’s #1 seed Chicago Bulls.  He will bring a veteran presence who has been through the wars, and could be a calming influence on Derrick Rose which will only make him better.  So many times last year, Rose was forced into being the go-to guy on a team with questionable backcourt support.  Kyle Korver and Keith Bogans are not as good as Rip Hamilton, who I think will give the team 25-30 quality minutes and is someone who should step right in and claim a starting spot based on ability alone.

The terms of the deal Rip signed with Chicago are 3 years 15 million (2 years fully guaranteed, 3rd year partially guaranteed).

I believe this deal puts Chicago over the top, and in direct competition with the Miami Heat for this season’s championship.  Even though I can’t go back and re-record the podcast from a couple of weeks ago where I proclaimed the Lakers to be the next champions, I will say that I believe the Bulls will be this year’s NBA champion now that some of the pieces have fallen (Chris Paul to Clippers, Dwight Howard staying in Orlando for now).

It’s clear by the comments on my previous Richard Hamilton post that the good lot of you will miss Rip even though the last few years have been underwhelming.  I wouldn’t be against seeing the Bulls or Clippers do well this season with the additions of Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups collectively.

In Chauncey Billups the LA Clippers acquired a guy who would’ve started and served as a mentor for Eric Bledsoe had they not been able to acquire Chris Paul.  Now Billups can start at shooting guard and backup Paul at the point until the offseason when the Clippers are able to acquire a pure shooting guard.

Chris Wilcox isn’t really guaranteed a spot in the rotation for the Boston Celtics, honestly he seems a little out of place on that team.  With the Celtics aging, and if Wilcox makes the team, he should play most of his minutes on the 3rd game of the back to back to backs and in the 2nd game of back to backs to keep KG fresh.  With Jeff Green missing the season with a heart aneurysm, Wilcox could step in with 15-20 minutes a night possibly at the backup PF and C positions depending on how Jermaine O’Neal holds up.

DaJuan Summers was never really given a shot with the Pistons, either by his overall lack of talent or with the coaches that were trying to keep their jobs by not giving him or Austin Daye playing time.  It’s hard to say that Summers wasn’t given a chance, because Jonas Jerebko stepped up and played important minutes as a rookie and would’ve played more minutes last year had he remained healthy.  Summers, known for his NBA-ready physique, has shown flashes in garbage time with the Pistons.  If he makes the New Orleans Hornets, he will be fighting for playing time with Quincy Pondexter and Al Farouq-Aminu behind returning starter Trevor Ariza.  Considering both Pondexter and Aminu are former 1st round picks, the Hornets would likely opt to keep their potential around than Summers, who couldn’t see playing time in a season where the main backup to the SF position on the Pistons was out for the season last year.

Tracy McGrady has signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks, where he will serve as Joe Johnson’s primary backup with the departure of Jamal Crawford.  McGrady, who made the most of his time with the Pistons (while also being labeled a team cancer by Mr. Wieme), will be able to show the league that he is healthy and still can play important minutes in the league  on the playoff contending Hawks team.

McGrady spent time on the Pistons last season as the starting point guard, and first guard off the bench for the Pistons.  It was his first successful season since knee injuries began to de-rail his career with the Houston Rockets, and in his short stint with the New York Knicks where his expiring contract helped the Knicks line themselves up for the “Summer of 2010” Free Agent class.

And John Kuester… LOL who cares?


  1. Tate

    Im a die hard pistons fan.. but with this season under way, i cant help but being a bulls fan at the same time.. I like the fact that rip went there and i hope that things work well with that team.. I think that with the season being short and all the other changes being made with most teams, chicago has a great shot at making it to the finals.. I feel that the heat has no chance to make it to the finals this year because they have too many bums on their bench… This years finals is gonna be the bulls and the thunder… guaransheed

    • junior

      if u were a die hard piston fan u would NEVER root for the bulls, wtf?

      • Tate

        there is nothing wrong with being able to appreciate the skills and talent of another team.. im sorry, but the bulls have a great roster. as a team the pistons need some work and being the realist that I am, i cant help but be realistic in my predictions and in my opinions on which teams in this league are going to be good.. I love the pistons, but I reserve the right to watch other teams while we are in a rebuilding stage..

        • junior

          u can like the skills of other players that is fine but how can you say u are a die hard pistons fan one sentence then in the next say you are a fan of the CHICAGO BULLS?! also i didnt say you couldnt watch other teams play thats no big deal but if you were a die hard fan of any team you would not root for other teams, you only root for your own team. just saying.

    • jalen

      go zack ryder – he’s the us champ woo woo woo you know it!

  2. Tate

    btw…. i think its sooo funny that the lakers look like they are crumbling as soon as Keuster shows up… everything he touches turns to shit….hahahahaa good luck loser!!!

  3. edt

    Vegas agrees with you the bulls are really good this year.

    here’s the odds

    Heat 2-1
    Bulls 6-1

    Returning champs get no respect nor do the lakers

    mavs 7-1
    lakers 7-1
    thunder 7-1
    celtics 8-1

    Pistons are 200-1, aren’t we better than that! Only team worse are the t wolves and raptors at 300-1.

    If I put $5 and the pistons do win the championship that’s 1k. Why bet the lotto when you can be the pistons to win it all, that’s what I’m saying.

  4. Wow

    We aren’t going to even come close to winning anything this year. I’m sorry, but we won’t. Young-gun teams don’t win championships.

    As for Rip, he was the only thing keeping me in Detroit (I was born and raised here too, so that counts). I’ll be a bulls fan first until he leaves, then I’ll come back to the pistons.

    I’ll stay a die-hard pistons fan though. Love the game too much to not love them too. But man, I’ll be cringing every game I watch until the final buzzer sounds.

    • junior

      you are NOT a die hard fan, you are a fair weather fan. big difference.

      • junior

        you can stay with the bulls we dont want wagon jumpers.


        a die hard fan would be one who tailgates in -5 degree weather with a cold beer

  5. dillon

    u guys are all hatters why do u all say that the pistons arn”t coming close to the finals and they suck u always got to believe in your home town f the Chicago bulls rip leaving that was the past the future is a head of us now i know rips a great player but remember when his happend to Chauncey billups he left every body was like o now Denver is my favorite team but now nobody gives a dam about Chauncey he used to be really god and clutch but hes gone now u guys got to get off the couch stop crying about rip cause like i told u in he was past but now i think we got a shot at i mean look we have charlie v, Ben Gorden, rondy stucky tay prince, Brandon knight, will bynum, Ben Wallace, Jonas Jerbko, Austin Daye,Jason maxiel, and maybe Kris humphreis look at that we got this true piston for life

    • junior

      u hit the nail on the head, u my friend ARE a die hard pistons fan. you root for the TEAM not whos on it. yeah i loved chauncey n rip WHEN they were pistons, now they are just another player for a team i dont really give a crap about. i guess you could say they are the enemy now.

    • Drew

      Is there a reason for spelling almost everybody’s name wrong? Is it just spell it however you feel day? Rondy Stucky, ha ha.

    • gerdz

      is dillon, junior and I the only real piston fan here?

  6. edt

    you all catch thepistons mailbag today

    “Randy (Flint, Mich.): Would you be willing to speculate on our starting guards for the season now that Rodney Stuckey has been re-signed? My hope is Knight at point with Bynum behind him and Stuckey at shooting guard with Gordon backing him up. I think Stuckey will be more effective as a shooting guard.

    Langlois: My hunch is that to start the season, at least, it’s Stuckey and Gordon in the starting lineup with Knight and Bynum off the bench, a scenario in which Stuckey will wind up playing off the ball plenty as the primary backup to Gordon. I think it’s possible, if Knight has the type of impact his early showings suggest is possible to deliver quickly, that Knight and Stuckey will be a frequent backcourt pairing. Gordon’s proven ability to score coming off the bench is something to consider. When he signed here, it was with the understanding he would be coming off the bench. Gordon, unlike some players, doesn’t bristle at the notion that he would not be in the starting lineup. But Gordon is probably the one guy right now around whom a significant portion of the playbook is built – a guy you run plays for and hope he scores 18 to 20 efficient points a night. That’s why my guess is he opens the season as the starter. ”

    I have no idea why anything thinks Ben Gordon is good. Ben Gordon is the opposite of good. He hasn’t played basketball since he played for Chicago that’s the truth. There is zero reason to run plays for him.

    You are better off running plays for Charlie V!!!1111

    • Bellllissimo

      I never liked ben gordon either. I’m not sure if you remember before chauncey got traded when we played them. He never stayed on the floor cause he got so many fouls. Chauncey and rip just abused his tiny butt. Then their team often beat us cause their chicago team improved when he wasnt on the floor. Joe D gave him a contract for 1 playoff series. That’s it and they didn’t even win the series.

      And I also think it’s pointless to run plays for him too. If you can’t do anything unless a play is called for you then you don’t deserve to be a go to scorer.

  7. edt

    Step 1, Pair Stuckey with Gordon
    Step 2,
    Step 3, Gordon becomes consistent high scoring shooting guard

    from langlois again

    “Adam (Rochester, Mich.): What are your thoughts on how the Hamilton departure will affect Ben Gordon? Do you think he will finally be able to regain the stuff he had in Chicago? It was obvious before that Hamilton and Gordon both suffered by splitting minutes.

    Langlois: On paper, nobody gets a bigger opportunity created by Hamilton’s departure than Gordon. Gordon started off both of his two seasons in Detroit playing very well. If he gets off to another good start this year, without the urgency to shoehorn Hamilton into the lineup for 35 minutes, I would expect Gordon would have a better shot at sustaining rhythm and momentum. The re-signing of Rodney Stuckey and the apparent readiness of Brandon Knight to assume a role – it’s early, but Knight certainly hasn’t shown any signs he’s overwhelmed by the stage – gives Lawrence Frank plenty of backcourt options. But no question that Gordon’s 3-point threat provides the Pistons with a big weapon. He’s 28. There’s no reason to believe he’s lost anything physically. And Gordon has been noticeably upbeat about Frank’s system and coaching style. ”

    In this case step 2 is magical “Frank System” which makes Ben Gordon good.

    Maybe Ben Gordon will get a groin injury. Not wishing harm on him, but if it would pair Stuckey and Knight at the backcourt . . . .

    • Drew

      Thanks for sharing this. Knight and Stuck FTW!

      • edt

        I know it seems like I’m hatinig on BG, the problem is not that he’s on our team, the problem is we pay him 12 million a year, our highest paid player. If we paid him $4.5 million then it would be fine.

        At 12 million coaches keep trying to give him more and more minutes. If BG was only paid $4.5 coaches and the owner would feel ok giving him Jason Maxiell minutes.

        So we’re gonna see an awful lot of Ben Gordon, and the only reason is that $12 million dollar price tag.

        It’s like owning a Jaguar car. You think, man I paid so much for this car, I really need to drive it more, then it breaks down by the side of the road and you think, why didn’t I take my ford focus.

        But next week the same thing happens, you think, paid so much for it, I really should use it, but every single time it’s a dumb mistake. That’s Ben Gordon in a nutshell.

        Just like the jaguar, Ben Gordon is best used on a sunny sunday afternoon when nothing much is at stake, for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, and then returned quietly to the garage.

        • junior

          lmfao that is so spot on. i think gordon could possibly play like he did in chicago but i just dont really see it happening.

        • Bellllissimo

          you just reminded me of something. When ben wallace signed in chicago and got that huge 60 mil contract and a year later ben gordon was a free agent and said something to reporters like “i think the best player on the team should make the most money” referring to himself.

          well i wonder how he feels about that now 🙂

          • edt

            Yeah and that was part of the problem with Wallace in Chicago, I mean sure Ben got a big payday but he just wasn’t that healthy in Chicago, he had to play hurt the entire time, why? Because Chicago saw his price tag and thought we’ll be damned if we’re not gonna get our money’s worth out of him. If they had limited Big Ben’s minutes, he would have been spectacular for Chicago. That’s part of the reason he had a ridiculous 2010 season here in Detroit, we didn’t over play him because we didn’t over pay him.

        • greg

          wasn’t a lot of Gordon’s price based on how he played against the Celtics in the playoffs? sort of- *if* he were able to keep that up, he might actually be worth that much?

  8. The Fluidics

    Dyess Anounced his retirement today.
    He deserves a healthy retirement.

    • Bellllissimo

      i saw that too, he was waived and plans to retire. That makes me super sad i hope he comes back at the middle of the season and signs with a contender

  9. pistonsfan101

    Terrico White is with the Hornets btw!

  10. L

    Saying Rip is one of the Greatest Pistons of all time is an overstatement

    • Bellllissimo

      he’s on the Pistons top 50 players list so not really

  11. Drew

    Arron Afflalo just signed for 5 years and $43 million, and we’re still worried about signing Stuckey for 3 years and $25? We got market value if you ask me.

  12. Joe

    Boozer’s poor defense will be the Achilles’ heel of an otherwise very good Bulls team.

    The Thunder or the Clippers have a better shot at a title this season.

  13. Piston Ron

    Since I fell in love with the game (during the teal & baby bulls eras) I’ve loved both Chicago and Detroit. It helps that I was local for the threepeats, and the Pistons 2004 game. So I would be rooting for the Bulls this year anyway.

    Rip will always stay true Piston blue to me, even if he wins it in Chicago this year. For the same reason that I hated seeing Sheed on the Celtics, even though I knew he needed out of Detroit. For the same reason I could never get behind Ben on the Bulls or hated Cavs. For the same reason Chauncey is the only reason I can’t continue to make fun of the Clippers as a team. That 2004 team and its players were special to me, as they really were a team.
    Even Darko. Every family could use a red headed stepchild.


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