Take a look at Ben Wallace’s numbers through five games:
- 3.6 points
- 9.0 rebounds
- 1.0 blocks
- 1.4 assists
They’re certainly impressive, but also what we’ve come to expect from Wallace. However when you realize he’s only playing 23 minutes a game and putting up those numbers, it’s even more apparent just how high a level Wallace is still playing at. His per-36 minute rebounding average of 14.0 would be the second best mark of his career, was would his 22.5 percent rebound rate.
All of this brings up a question: would the Pistons listen to offers for Wallace this season? I wrote last season about the very same thing when Denver reportedly called Detroit about Wallace’s availability but were quickly rebuffed. Here’s what I said then:
But, playing devil’s advocate, there is probably no Piston with greater trade value than Wallace. Teams are going to continue calling about him because veteran big men always move at the trade deadline — how many times does it seem like Kurt Thomas, Drew Gooden, Francisco Elson or Brian Skinner changed teams mid-season? And those guys aren’t even good — Wallace is still one of the most productive rebounders in the league.
That same statement holds true. Wallace came back to the Pistons to end his career where he had his greatest success. But this is a very different team than the one he helped build. Wallace would be a difference-maker with his defensive presence and rebounding for any contending team in the league. At his salary, he’s also one of the best values in the league. Wallace is signed through next year at that very reasonable deal, so he undoubtedly has value for the Pistons. But by all accounts, Wallace is likely to retire at the end of his contract, so he’s clearly not a long-term piece that is going to help with their needed rebuilding.
Selfishly, I’d much rather have Wallace on the Pistons. But if Wallace decides he can’t take the losing and if the Pistons decide, as they should, to fully commit to tearing down and rebuilding, Wallace is the one player on their roster who they’d have a lineup of teams coveting.
Last year, the Pistons made it clear he wasn’t available, but that doesn’t mean teams aren’t going to call this year. What type of offer, if any, do you think it would take for the Pistons to consider dealing Wallace?
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