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Pistons will get Theo Ratliff, not Dale Davis

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From Chris McCosky's blog:

The Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday night placed veteran center Theo Ratliff on waivers and have agreed to buy him out of what remained on his $11.6 million contract. If he clears waivers in the next 48 hours - which is almost a given with his salary - he will sign with the Pistons for the prorated amount of the veteran's minimum ($1.3 million).

Ratliff, 34, was drafted by the Pistons in 1995. He has only played 12 games the last two years, but he is healthy now. He played in the last 10 games with the Timberwolves, averaging 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Talk about coming out of left field, huh? No word on what the jilted Dale Davis plans on doing, but presumably he'd be interested in latching on with another contender looking to add a veteran big man for the stretch run.

I always liked Ratliff, though I wonder how much he has left in the tank. Of course, that's why Arnie Kander makes the big bucks -- once Ratliff gets a few gallons of Arnie's magic water, I'm sure he'll be jumping out of the gym just like the old days.

It's also interesting that the Pistons settled for a relative lightweight center instead of a physical bruiser like Davis -- with Shaq irrelevant in Phoenix, there's really not a need to keep a designated wide body around. That said, I can't think of a better mentor to help Amir Johnson harness his incredible shot-blocking ability without getting called for a foul every other trip down the court.

(Thanks to Sonia and Matt G. for the head's up.)