The Bulls wasted little time beginning their long-awaited courtship of Ben Wallace, with GM John Paxson and coach Scott Skiles visiting Detroit yesterday, the first day NBA teams are allowed to talk with free agents. Krista Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press writes:
Wallace's agent, Arn Tellem, said that Skiles and Paxson came to Detroit to meet with Wallace, the Pistons' longtime center who is the brightest star on the free-agent market that opened Saturday.
The Pistons, meanwhile, are in a waiting mode. They want to see what kind of interest Wallace, an unrestricted free agent, generates around the league and hear what kind of contract he wants.
President of basketball operations Joe Dumars said the two talked Saturday and right now it's all up to Wallace.
Interestingly enough, the Sixers also unexpectedly threw their hat in the ring -- team president Billy King contacted Wallace's agent yesterday, as well. Philly is over the salary cap, though, so if they're really serious it would require a sign-and-trade.
I happen to like Detroit's wait-and-see approach -- the worst thing the Pistons could do would be to get in a bidding war with themselves. Let the market set Big Ben's value, then let Dumars decide if he wants to be a buyer -- even if Wallace's return isn't as automatic as it once seems, I'm guessing all the Pistons need to do is match another offer, not necessarily beat it.