Sometimes, it becomes quite clear that the best option for two parties is to move in the completely opposite direction.

Michigan and former star Hunter Dickinson clearly reached that point this offseason. And now both sides will be better off without each other.

It’s fair to wonder how the heck the Wolverines will be better off without their best player when they couldn’t even make the NCAA Tournament with Dickinson last season.

But as he made abundantly obvious this week, Hunter Dickinson is more about Hunter Dickinson than he is about Michigan. And that’s not the type of leadership that Juwan Howard needs in his locker room next year.

That lack of maturity was already evident last season with Dickinson’s ski mask gaffe at Wisconsin.

A day after a masked gunman killed 3 Michigan State students and wounded 5 others, the oblivious Dickinson donned a ski mask at the Kohl Center. His intent was to look like a burglar because the Wolverines were going “steal a win.”

Dickinson’s judgement spoke volumes. It’s no surprise a young team underachieved with him steering the ship.

Even if there hadn’t been a tragedy the prior night, the stunt was an example of Dickinson putting himself above the team. It wasn’t some crazy team-bonding exercise where everybody showed up dressed the same.

Somehow, that might have been a better look. At least it would be an ill-advised attempt to get everyone on the same page.

This was the exact opposite.

In a game that a bubble team absolutely needed to win, here was the leader exercising his compulsion to make himself the story.

With his reasoning for leaving Michigan, Dickinson continued to make it clear that No. 1 will always put himself No. 1.

“I really didn’t want to leave, I didn’t, but I just felt like, man, it was the best decision for me,” Dickinson explained on his RoundBall Podcast. “It took a lot of courage. I don’t think people realize how much courage it took for a guy who was there for 3 years, an All-American for the team.

“I did have a legacy there and I basically gave that up to try to be selfish and do what’s best for me and my career, not what’s best for anybody else’s career.”

The courage to be selfish. What a worldview. At least we know he’ll pass the personality test to be the guy at the bank who forecloses on family farms.

Dickinson’s primary gripe is that Michigan didn’t offer enough NIL money to its student-athletes.

“The people hating on me would leave their job right now for a $10,000 increase,” he said. “I got, at Michigan, less than 6 figures. I got less than 6 figures at Michigan for the year.”

To be fair, he isn’t wrong. And he’s very wise to maximize his value at its peak.

If Dickinson had a bright NBA future, he’d already be there.

His basketball future might be a very good pro career in Europe or Australia. Or, potentially, carving out a sports media path as a kind of Pat McAfee figure for college basketball. Dickinson is a charismatic entertainer at his core.

But for now, it’s his prerogative to get the best deal for him. That wasn’t going to happen at Michigan. Wolverines fans shouldn’t be bitter at him for leaving. Truth is his departure will probably save the program a few headaches next year.

Kansas is a good fit for Dickinson. And not just because of the money.

The program is bigger than any single player. If Bill Self tells him to knock it off, one presumes that the message will take. At Kansas he can focus on being a great player rather than the guy expected to lead.

Why losing Hunter Dickinson can make Michigan better

There are lessons to be taken from this episode for Michigan.

Most of all, perhaps, is the reality that the program’s NIL arm better be prepared for the coming arms race.

Losing Dickinson comes with some sting. But for the reasons previously mentioned, that sting is unlikely to linger.

Next season is a crucial junction for Howard, and a clean break allows him to focus on the future. There’s a chance doing right by Dickinson would not have been the same as doing right by the program, and vice versa.

Even that is a small picture issue, though. Dickinson’s self-proclaimed selfishness can actually help prepare Michigan for the future.

Losing a basketball player to Kansas because of money is one thing. But losing a football player — or more — to Ohio State?

Then there are problems in Ann Arbor.

And if Dickinson’s NIL concerns are completely dismissed, those problems may come along sooner than anyone could previously imagine.