NBA Analysis: Rip Hamilton Can't Save the Chicago Bulls
Rip Hamilton was once a decent player. The Bulls are thinking of acquiring him in an effort to correct their “problems” at the shooting guard. Unfortunately for the Bulls this will likely hurt them in their quest for a title. The truth is Hamilton has never been that great of a player. The Bulls actually already have a very strong team with few weaknesses. Adding Hamilton will only hurt them.
Rip had two skills: shooting and getting a decent number of defensive rebounds for a shooting guard. In recent years Rip’s shooting ability has declined. This is not surprising. He is on the wrong side of 30 and players age like milk, not wine. The defensive rebounds are actually a problem.
In the offseason while other analysts were learning contract rules for the new CBA Dave decided to update the Wins Produced formula. You can read a brief recap here and the full rundown here. An important variation the Wins Produced formula has now adjusted for is the diminishing returns for defensive rebounds. Essentially if a player gets a high percentage of their team’s rebounds they are penalized slightly. This is not good for Hamilton.
If the Bulls acquire Hamilton they will be getting a player that was once a good shooter but no longer is. He doesn’t contribute much else either and even his overvalued defensive rebounds will not be much good to the Bulls.
There’s one final problem with acquiring Rip Hamilton to solve the problems at shooting guard for the Bulls. The truth is the Bulls were fine at shooting guard last season. In fact here’s a brief comparison of Rip Hamilton with the Bulls’ shooting guards from last season
Player MP POS WP48 WP
Ronnie Brewer 1781 2.0 .245 9.11
Keith Bogans 1461 2.0 .146 4.44
Kyle Korver 1649 2.7 .098 3.37
Rip Hamilton 1498 2.4 .009 .0028
The Bulls are actually overloaded with good shooting guards! Rather than persue Rip Hamilton the Bulls should just keep the shooting guards they have. All of them are under contract and significantly better than Hamilton. All Hamilton can do is take minutes from younger, more talented and more deserving players.
The Bulls may be falling into a dangerous trap. Last season they had the best record in the league and went far in the playoffs. Rather than view this as a good thing they are instead viewing their loss in the playoffs as a major problem. By acquiring Hamilton they acquire a seasoned veteran that knows how to win. At least that’s the story. The issue is that Hamilton’s winning came by playing next to talented players. What’s more his winning days are long behind him. It’s a boring strategy but rather than gamble on an overrated scorer the Bulls could instead stand pat, hope for healthy and wait for their opponents to sign terrible players instead.