The Detroit Pistons are in need of a big man, a relatively inexpensive one.
Ben Wallace, $10 million dollars richer after being bought out by Phoenix, is looking for a new home.
While there's no deal imminent, the Pistons are going to explore the possibility of bringing one of the franchise's greatest defenders, back to Detroit.
If this was 2006, I'd be very interested in the idea of signing free agent, Ben Wallace. But it's 2009, Ben Wallace will be 35-years old in September, and nobody fears a graying 'fro.
I'll be the first to admit, I was very disappointed he signed with Chicago for way more than the Pistons were willing to offer him during the 2006 off-season. It wasn't long, though before I realized Wallace's time had passed and it was probably for the best.
I understand if we signed him now he'd be coming to Detroit with a different role, for virtually nothing (probably the veteran's minimum which wouldn't go against the cap), and he'd serve as a pretty good locker room leader to players who could use some mentoring on the defensive end.
Is it really worth it, though?
After all, Wallace was lamenting retirement after the Cavs were axed in this year's playoffs; he probably wouldn't display nearly the same passion he had when he was with Chicago or Cleveland, let alone when he first came to Detroit.
Also, he's had injury problems that has forced him to miss significant time in the past few years. We can play what if and hope, "well if he's healthy he can be a valuable asset," but weren't injury problems the same concerns people have had with a potential Carlos Boozer acquisition? I know they are two completely different players, but those were the major concerns I was hearing with getting Booz in a potential trade. I don't see how wasting any money, no matter how much less, is worth it on an aging guy, whose play has diminished significantly, has had injury problems, and isn't even sure he wants to play.
It might be a feel good story for Big Ben and his fans, who have certainly not forgotten what he did for us during his time here, to return to the first team that really gave him a shot to blossom as a star defender in this league, but Wallace also left the Pistons in the dust once before. Should the Pistons take a flier on him? I don't think so. I thought this was the end of an era and we were rebuilding our team, not rebound row.
UPDATE: According to The Free Press, the Pistons are not actively pursuing Ben Wallace.
With the Detroit Pistons in the market for a big man, it’s natural for speculation to turn to former Piston Ben Wallace.
Wallace, the face of the franchise for six seasons — including 2004, when the Pistons won the NBA title — was bought out by the Phoenix Suns on Monday.
But a person with knowledge of the situation said today that the Pistons are focusing on options other than Wallace, 34.
Take that for what it's worth. I guess we'll see what happens.