NBA Roundtable

Detroit Brings Back Big Ben

In Free Agency on August 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm

ESPN reports

Free-agent center Ben Wallace agreed to terms with the Detroit Pistons on Friday, according to a league source.

The contract is for one year at the veteran’s minimum of $1.3 million, according to sources.

Smart move + good signing.

I was more enthusiastic about this situation a few weeks ago … what changed?

Pistons Big Men

  • Charlie Villanueva — 24 years old
  • Kwame Brown — 27 years old
  • Jason Maxiell — 26 years old
  • Chris Wilcox — 26 years old
  • Ben Wallace — turns 35 before the start of training camp

The Pistons have four rotation worthy big men who are all entering the prime of their career, or in Charlie’s case are a few years away from their prime. These guys all need to be playing to improve, and they could all play a role in Detroit’s future depending on how that goes.

Previously, before the Wilcox signing, the Pistons had only three good big men and badly needed both (1) a veteran presence, and, (2) a high quality interior defender. Ben Wallace suited both needs, he could have come in and played 15-20 minutes off the bench and filled a hole while providing valuable leadership + teachings for the younger Pistons.

But now with Wilcox signed, and the minutes looking packed as is, there doesn’t seem to be an on-court role for Wallace to play. At least not a substantial one. He’s the fifth big in the rotation and it looks like he’ll only be playing spot minutes throughout the season, and if he plays more than that it’s likely coming at the cost of one of Detroit’s younger big’s development. Not as friendly a situation.

Ben Wallace will be an excellent fifth big, and an excellent locker room presence, and he will help Detroit … but I think he has too much basketball left in him to settle for such a small role. I’m disappointed that he isn’t going t have that.

Conclusions

Good signing by Detroit.

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