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Wednesday, September 11
Updated: September 12, 6:16 PM ET
All-Star Stackhouse traded to Wizards

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- After leading the Detroit Pistons to a surprising turnaround season, Jerry Stackhouse will get a chance to do the same with the Washington Wizards.



The Pistons traded Stackhouse to the Wizards for Richard Hamilton in a six-player deal Wednesday. Washington also gets forward Brian Cardinal and center Ratko Varda, while Detroit lands forward Bobby Simmons and guard Hubert Davis.

"I'm just disappointed ... because I have to leave my home," Stackhouse said. "I have to leave a fan base that has grown with me since I've been here and who have been just unbelievably great for me. It's not easy, but at the same time it comes with this business and I understand that."

Stackhouse, a two-time All-Star, shed his selfish image and became more of a team player last season. Detroit won 50 games -- 18 more than the previous year -- despite predictions the Pistons would finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Now he's going to a Wizards team that finished eight games below .500 last season despite the return of Michael Jordan.

"When you have the opportunity to add an All-Star player of Jerry's caliber, you can't hesitate on the chance to strengthen the team," Wizards general manager Wes Unseld said. "We had to part with several players we were very high on, but we feel we have improved."

The trade is a surprise ending to Jordan's overhaul of the Wizards starting lineup as he prepares for his final season. Washington will open the season with five new starters.

Also, by getting Stackhouse, Jordan is building for the future while enhancing his chances to go out a winner.

Hamilton is considered a possible future All-Star, while Stackhouse is in his prime. However, Stackhouse had only one year left in his contract with the Pistons, so Jordan's plan to clear plenty of room under the salary cap next offseason is still intact.

Stackhouse is the third starter acquired by the Wizards this offseason. Washington signed free agent Larry Hughes to play point guard in July and added free agent small forward Bryon Russell on Tuesday. Coach Doug Collins plans to start Brendan Haywood at center and either Etan Thomas or Kwame Brown at power forward; all three were mostly reserves last season.

Stackhouse has a career scoring average over seven NBA seasons of 21.2 points, the highest among any player taken in the 1995 draft. Drafted third overall by Philadelphia, he was traded to Detroit in 1997. His best season came in 2000-01, when he finished second in the league with a 29.8-point average.

Once considered by some to be an arrogant, shoot-first player, Stackhouse changed his game last season to make his teammates better. He took almost seven fewer shots per game and played nearly five less minutes than he did the previous season, when he was second in the league in scoring and the Pistons won just 32 games.

The result: The former North Carolina star led the Pistons to the Central Division title, the team's first since 1990. In the regular season, he averaged 21.4 points, a career-best 5.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 35.3 minutes.

Stackhouse faltered in the playoffs, however. When the Pistons faced elimination in Game 5 against Toronto in the first round, he made just 1 of 10 shots.

The second time Detroit faced elimination, Stackhouse made just 3 of 18 shots against Boston and failed to attack Paul Pierce when Pierce had four fouls in the third quarter. Stackhouse made just 321 percent of his shots in 10 playoff games.

Stackhouse is expected to play ahead of Jordan, who has said he will play one more season if his ailing knees let him. Collins said Tuesday he had spoken with Jordan about coming off the bench as a backup shooting guard.

Jordan, who still runs the team even though he no longer has a front office title, is expected to announce his plans for the season shortly before the Wizards open training camp Oct. 1.

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Jerry Stackhouse is determined to turn the Wizards back into a winning team.
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Richard Hamilton is looking forward to the opportunity of playing for the Pistons.
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