The Boston Celtics’ expected rebuilding began Thursday when veteran forward Rasheed Wallace officially decided to retire after 15 NBA seasons, a league source said.
Wallace’s retirement had been expected after the Celtics’ seven-game loss to the Lakers in the Finals, but Boston had held out some hope that the 35-year-old would change his mind with a few days’ contemplation.
Wallace signed a three-year, $18.9 million contract with Boston last summer, turning down offers from Orlando and San Antonio after the Celtics made a team-wide push to recruit him, sending Coach Doc Rivers, GM Danny Ainge and forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Wallace’s home to ask him to play in Boston. He left more than $13 million on the table by opting to retire.
I gotta say, I am amazed that Rasheed has left $13 million on the table.
Update: Sheed Delaying Papers
Rasheed Wallace is taking his time in officially announcing his retirement. That’s just fine with the Boston Celtics.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Monday that Wallace is assisting the team by not filing retirement papers any time soon.
“He’s trying to help us out by waiting, which is good,” Rivers said of Wallace, due to make $6.32 million next season and $6.79 million in 2011-12. “He’s still our property so we can use that in a trade or something. He’s doing a great thing for us.”
While there has been some speculation Wallace might not retire now that Rivers has assured that he will return to the Celtics and star forward Paul Pierce is on the verge of signing a new contract, Rivers said the chances are “very little or none” the forward will play next season.
Boston general manager Danny Ainge, joining Rivers and the Celtics at the AirTran Airways Pro Summer League, said that “as far as I know” Wallace will retire. He also spoke of Wallace holding off to help the Celtics, saying, “We’re hoping that will happen. A piece (for the team to use in a possible deal).”
Effectively, Rasheed is now an instant expiring contract. So teams can get immediate cap relief by trading for him. Very good trade asset.