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Mining the Pistons Mailbag: Does Big Ben have a roster spot?

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Each week, Keith Langlois, editor of, sifts through the questions of curious Pistons fans and offers a unique, quasi-insider perspective in his repsonses. Periodically, I will do some gold digging to find the shiny nuggets of information.

To that end, whither Ben Wallace?

Langlois: Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, Jason Maxiell, Charlie Villanueva, Andre Drummond, Slava Kravtsov, Tayshaun Prince, Corey Maggette, Austin Daye, Kyle Singler, Rodney Stuckey, Brandon Knight, Will Bynum and Kim English all have signed contracts for next season. Khris Middleton has not yet officially signed, but Pistons management made it clear in the wake of the draft and again following the conclusion of Summer League that it was their intention to have Middleton on the roster for the 2012-13 season. I have no reason to believe there has been a change of plans on either side. Of course, until a contract is signed, there is always a chance it won’t be. Even if Middleton does not sign – again, no reason to believe that will happen – the greater need for the Pistons would appear to be a fifth guard rather than a seventh big man. But there is still plenty of time for roster adjustments via the trade market – three months until rosters need to be trimmed to 15 in time for the late-October season opener. There’s at least as much of a chance that the Pistons will make a trade or two to tweak the roster than there is that those 15 names I’ve listed will be the team that breaks training camp.

In addition to providing some clarity about Middleton's yet-to-be-certain status, it appears that Ben Wallace isn't in the Pistons' plans. At least not for the moment, and of course, a lot can change between now and the start of the NBA season.

I am likely in the minority here, but I think Ben Wallace retiring from basketball would be a good thing for Detroit, even if saying goodbye stings. The Benaissance was the stuff of legend and was a triumphant return to Motown that vindicated Ben Wallace in the hearts of Pistons fans. But all things come to end, and there's nothing wrong with that.

There's certainly a case to be made for keeping Big Ben around to mentor the Pistons' young players like Andre Drummond, of course, but parting ways in favor of younger players may finally signal that a full-on rebuild is in progress.

More thoughts after the jump.

The idea of a "full-on" rebuild would of course be complicated by any overpaid, under-productive, aging veterans who take minutes from young, developing players and inhibit their progress.

Since plugging my ears and shouting "La La La" whenever Tayshaun Prince has the basketball doesn't actually make him disappear, the best we could hope for is a decreased role, thus allowing for opportunities for players like Jerebko, Singler, and English.

What's that? Moar Tayshaun, not less? Keith thinks so, quite firmly, in fact.

Tayshaun Prince is going to get the bulk of minutes at small forward.

I'm sorry, but the Pistons need more Tayshaun the same way any song ever written needs more cowbell.

Tayshuan is here, and here to stay, and no amount of griping will change that. So let's change the subject.

How about long-time DBB favorite, Paul Milsap? He'll be available next summer, potentially, and the Pistons should have the resources to make a run at him.

If the Pistons were to target Millsap, hypothetically, they have the wherewithal to go after him in free agency with the cap room they figure to have, or have the ability to create, next July.

The main issue will be fit, just as it was for this year's draft. Yes, Milsap is a productive player, but he's not a center, he's undersized, yada, yada. I'd still pursue him, because he's good, and I'd rather have assets than the alternative.

To read the rest of the Mailbag, click here.