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Old 07-03-2006, 04:49 PM   #1
Tarkus
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Wonder if Big Ben will take the Bulls up on their offer. A big impact for Chicago but I think an even bigger fallout in Detroit...

The ball's in Wallace's court
Pistons' center must weigh offers from Bulls and Detroit


By Marlen Garcia
Tribune staff reporter
Published July 3, 2006

Ben Wallace has to decide whether he wants to stay comfortable in Detroit or try to make a splash with the up-and-coming Bulls.

The 6-foot-9-inch center reportedly has an offer from the Pistons that would pay him an estimated $48 million over four years. A source close to the Bulls confirmed they also had made a four-year offer.

Bulls general manager John Paxson and coach Scott Skiles met with Wallace on Saturday in Detroit.

The Bulls have about $15 million in salary-cap room for next season and likely offered Wallace slightly more than the Pistons, probably $13 million to $13.5 million, for the first year.

That offer probably isn't enough to sweep Wallace off his feet. So it's up to the veteran, entering his 11th season, to decide on a career path.

Wallace, in an interview with The Detroit News on Sunday, said he wasn't pleased with the Pistons' initial offer.

"It was disappointing," he said. "It was not at all what I expected."

Both offers could hold attractions.

Wallace won a championship ring with the Pistons in 2004 and has helped them reach the NBA Finals twice. The Pistons went on a roll during the 2005-06 regular season, going 64-18, but came undone in the playoffs and lost to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals.

Wallace criticized coach Flip Saunders during the playoffs, raising questions about whether Wallace would return. He also raised eyebrows during the regular season because he balked at re-entering a game in Orlando.

But a source close to the Pistons said Wallace's alleged falling out with Saunders had been overblown.

Reports out of Detroit indicate Wallace would consider leaving the Pistons, for whom he has played the last six seasons, only if a winning team beat the offer.

It is believed that a five-year offer could sway Wallace, but no team is likely to make such an offer because the NBA's "over-36" rule would require his fifth year to be prorated and counted against the team's salary cap in the previous four seasons. The rule takes effect when a player turns 36 in a deal of at least four years. Wallace will be 32 on Sept. 10.

The Bulls are the only team thought to be seriously pursuing Wallace. Philadelphia contacted his agent, Arn Tellem, but would need a sign-and-trade to make the deal. Tellem could not be reached for comment.

The Bulls went 41-41 last season but came on strong to close the regular season and gave the Heat a tough time in the first round of the playoffs.

For the last three seasons, the Bulls have been a work in progress. But they could improve significantly with Wallace on their side.

It would weaken the division rival Pistons and possibly disrupt Detroit's cohesion. In addition, the four-time NBA defensive player of the year would erase questions about the Bulls' staying power inside.

It's no stretch to say Wallace could make the Bulls contenders for the Eastern Conference title next season, assuming the young nucleus of Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni and Chris Duhon lives up to its promise. That's also assuming Wallace's durable but aging body holds up as well as it has in Detroit.

The Bulls pride themselves on their defense. Last season they had the top defensive field-goal percentage in the league at .426.

Wallace is popular in Detroit for his work ethic, especially on defense. His characteristics would resonate with Chicagoans.

He would play a bigger role on offense with the Bulls, which is said to be important to him, though he isn't considered a strong offensive player.

Last season Wallace averaged 7.3 points to go with impressive averages of 11.3 rebounds, 1.78 steals and 2.21 blocks per game. He ranked in the top 10 in the league in the latter three categories.....

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports...-sportsnew-hed
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Old 07-03-2006, 07:17 PM   #2
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Yeah, Detroit is screwed if Big Ben bolts. He is the only real rebounder they have. Rasheed can do it but he is more of a perimiter player and I am not sure McDyess is physically capable of playing more than 25 minutes per game these days.

If Wallace goes to Chicago then Chandler is as good as gone.

I am not sure where Radmanovic helps the Lakers that much. As was pointed out during the draft the Lakers still need someone who is going to provide a presence under the basket. He just strikes me as something of an upgrade to Brian Cook. A Brian Cook with better range on his jumper if you will.

Replacing Radmanovic with Tim Thomas was a shrewd move by the Clips as was keeping Cassell around for Livingston to learn from.

Hornets overpaid to get Peja. Sixty mil over five is too much for a guy who always seems to disappear come playoff time be it by injury or poor play. I think Peja is a good fit for the Hornets as they need a third scorer to compliment Paul and David West since Desmond Mason flopped last year. This also means that J. R. Smith's days with the Hornets are numbered.

Atlanta continues to with second rate PGs signing Speedy Claxton to a deal.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2508532

Denver gives 60 mil to a guy who always seems to be injured, Nene, and has yet to live up to they hype he got when drafted. Goes to show how desparate NBA teams are for quality big men.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2507745
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Old 07-03-2006, 07:53 PM   #3
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Good points...

If Wallace was to leave, it would change the Pistons identity completely. You're right that Rasheed probably wouldn't be up to it. He's too comfortable on the wing & doesn't consistently step up in my eyes either. McDyess would wear thin by playoff time so it would be more than a serious blow to the Pistons place in the Central...

Good point on Chandler with the Bulls. Their lack of defensive presence had allowed Chandler to milk the Bulls but an arrival by Wallace would cancel that ride. I'm also excited to see Tyrus Thomas on the floor. Project or not, this kid could turn into somethin' special...

I think the Lakers are taking a risk with Vladi also. PJ's triangle will benefit from his presence but you're right...they definitely needed some under the basket support from their front line. Good comparison to a Brian Cook with a better jumper...

Good move is right by the Clipps with the addition of Thomas but I've never liked his up & down performance especially in the crunch. It aught to be an interesting transition from Vladi to Thomas...

lol @ Speedy Claxton. They're cornering the market, aren't they?

Overpaying for Peja may have been a necessary evil to help the Hornets climb up the ladder. A lotta cash but I think they'll get some decent return on him....until like you said....come playoff time.

Nene? That one is just baffling to me. Desperate must be exactly the word to describe handing out that kind of insane cash...
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:52 PM   #4
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Well, it sounds like it is official. ESPN is reporting that Wallace has informed the Pistons that he is going to Chicago. This is a huge coup for the Bulls and probably knocks the Pistons out of the league's elite teams and could help elevate the Bulls back to the league's elite.
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:32 PM   #5
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Are the Bulls now the team to compete w/Miami for the East?
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublee
Well, it sounds like it is official. ESPN is reporting that Wallace has informed the Pistons that he is going to Chicago. This is a huge coup for the Bulls and probably knocks the Pistons out of the league's elite teams and could help elevate the Bulls back to the league's elite.
Holy ****, Doublee....

I just got back & read this from you. Needless to say, as a Bulls fan, I'm absolutely ecstatic. The only way I saw the Bulls & their odd mix of players continue to climb the ladder was their pesky to staunch defensive efforts. Wallace would help cement that without a doubt. Adding him to their league leading defensive FG % should be a Helluva sight, game in & game out...

Chandler was a decent stopgap defensively but was never enough on the offensive end to help them raise their game beyond what they've shown the last couple years. This just might be the somethin' that gets the Bulls back into the upper eschelon. I hope this story was reported correctly & stays the same cuz I'm amped to say the least....
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarkus
Holy ****, Doublee....

I just got back & read this from you. Needless to say, as a Bulls fan, I'm absolutely ecstatic. The only way I saw the Bulls & their odd mix of players continue to climb the ladder was their pesky to staunch defensive efforts. Wallace would help cement that without a doubt. Adding him to their league leading defensive FG % should be a Helluva sight, game in & game out...

Chandler was a decent stopgap defensively but was never enough on the offensive end to help them raise their game beyond what they've shown the last couple years. This just might be the somethin' that gets the Bulls back into the upper eschelon. I hope this story was reported correctly & stays the same cuz I'm amped to say the least....
Well, I would not necessarily characterize Wallace as being significantly better than Chandler offensively. I don't know about you, but I cringe every time I see him take a shot. Like Chandler he is little more than a garbage scorer where he scores the bulk of his points off the break and off of rebounds. The main thing is that he will give the Bulls 35+ minutes a game whereas Chandler only averaged about 26 last season.

The main thing Wallace brings to the table, and why this is a major deal for the Bulls, is an attitude that was sorely missing with the Bulls. Now the Bulls have that veteran leadership from someone who has won it all that they were sorely lacking. He gives them what Chandler did only he brings that attitude and swagger to the floor that Chandler doesn't, he bring those intangibles that winning teams have.
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:17 PM   #8
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Wallace can be what he is now which is a scoring liability but you've nailed it on the attitude & also the championship swagger.

He plays the bigs all tough & is much more of a presense in the paint than Chandler could ever be. Chicago has been without that swagger for so long it's a distant memory. This move would be the closest thing to instant respect that there is.

Teams already had some for them but this kinda respect doesn't come around too often. Skiles must be drooling at the thought....
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:50 PM   #9
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Is this it for the Detroit dominance? I look at it two ways. On one hand, Wallace is an aging offensive and free throw liability. They could benefit with another post scorer since Rasheed plays like a sissy on the perimeter. On the other hand, there's no denying Ben's defense, rebounding, blocks, and energy. I think signing Nazr Mohammad is a solid move as he can provide more offense and solid rebounding.

Overall, I'm shocked Ben would bolt for money when he had the perfect situation in Detroit and a very generous deal.
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:08 PM   #10
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I don't know I am not entirely shocked. He percieved the Piston's offer as a low ball offer. At his age this is his last chance at a big payday and he took it. Plus, I don't know that Ben cared for Flip Saunders too terribly much.

The Pistons should still be one of the better teams in the East they will probably just win 50-55 games instead of 64 next year.
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