The Chicago Bulls will reportedly waive guard Richard Hamilton before July 10 rather than guarantee his $5 million salary for the 2013-14 season. The move will make Hamilton an unrestricted free agent.
The 35-year-old Hamilton has played in just 78 games over the past two seasons, missing a whopping 70 contests due to injuries. When he did play, the 13-year veteran never cemented himself as a solid contributor for the Bulls and occasionally complained about a lack of playing time.
The emergence of Jimmy Butler in the postseason made Hamilton expendable, and it will be difficult for him to find another team willing to guarantee him good money and playing time. During the 2012-13 season, Hamilton made 50 appearances (45 starts) and averaged 9.8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 21.8 minutes per game. He also hit just 42.9 percent of his shots from the field and 30.8 percent of his three-point shots last season.
Hamilton will probably catch on somewhere for a year or two, and the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are possible landing spots.
Hamilton is a three-time All-Star who helped lead the Detroit Pistons to an NBA title in 2004. He also led the NBA in three-point percentage in 2006 after hitting a ridiculous 45.8 percent of his treys. He has racked up 15,700 career points, so if he did hang ’em up now no one could say he didn’t have a great career.
In college, Hamilton was twice named the Big East Player of the Year (1998-99) and led the Connecticut Huskies to the 1999 NCAA championship while earning the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player award. He was also a two-time All-American (first team in 1999, second team in 1998).