Chicago Bulls: Should the Dallas Mavericks Be Interested in Richard Hamilton?

Nicholas HoeftCorrespondent IIIJuly 17, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 28:  Richard Hamilton #32 of the Chicago Bulls drives against the New Orleans Hornets at the United Center on February 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Hornets 99-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bulls are shopping Richard Hamilton's $5 million contract.

Although Hamilton is not the player he once was, he could still be the player Chicago believed he was when they signed him last year as a title contender. 

Hamilton was supposed to be the missing piece. After one year, it appears he was not.

Although we will never know would could have been if Derrick Rose never injured his knee, Hamilton did play well at the end of the year. He does still have real value to another title contender.

Hamilton's ability to hit mid-range jumpers and his veteran savvy could be a valuable bench addition to a true contender. Rip can still play above-average defense even if he is not the lockdown defender of old. He would be a veteran presence off the bench and in the locker room come playoffs.

It would make sense that Hamilton would generate interest from two Western Conference teams. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks.

A trade with L.A. would be more complicated, but could be worked out with some effort (one possibility).

A trade with Dallas, however, would be very easy and work out well for both team's long-term goals.

Should Dallas make a deal with Chicago for Hamilton? [see answer below]

Chicago wants to move Hamilton for a trade exception. The Bulls already obtained a $5 million exception from Atlanta by trading Kyle Korver and they would like another $5 million exception to help go after a young shooting guard .

Dallas wants to acquire additional contributors for a championship run this upcoming season while not adding salary beyond next year. The Mavericks want to keep cap space flexibility to go after Dwight Howard after his deal with Orlando expires.

Dallas does not, however, want to roll-over and do nothing this season waiting for Howard's potential arrival. Enter Hamilton. He would help replace the void left by the departure of Jason Terry and give the Mavericks another solid veteran option off the bench.

Chicago could send Hamilton to Dallas for Tyson Chandler's trade exception ($4.2 million).

The Mavericks would acquire Hamilton without having to trade players or picks to the Bulls. Mark Cuban would only have to pay Hamilton $6 million guaranteed. He is due $5 million next season and is only owed $1 million for the following year. Dallas could elect to pick up Hamilton's option for the second year and pay his full $5 million salary or it could cut ties to maintain cap space to go after Howard by only paying the guaranteed $1 million.

Does Hamilton fill an immediate need for Dallas? Yes. Will he help the Maverick's make another run at a NBA Championship? Yes. Does Rip's contract fit with Dallas' long-term plans? Yes.

Now, should Dallas make a deal with Chicago for Hamilton? [You should be thinking yes.]

*** UPDATE *** O.J. Mayo has reportedly agreed to a multi-year contract with Dallas. Although Dallas has less of a need for a shooting guard now with Mayo on board, that fact does not mean a Hamilton trade is out of the question. He would still bring scoring, veteran toughness and defense to the Mavericks' bench.

Mark Cubin has stated a number of times that he wants more championships and that he will spend the money to make it happen. Rip is a low risk, high reward player under that mindset. If it fails, Cubin only pays Hamilton $5 million this year and $1million next year to go away. If it works out then Cubin looks like a genius and can decide whether to keep Rip on for the following season at $5 million or cut ties to maintain cap flexibility.