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Ben Wallace’s productivity continues to be impressive, but can he handle losing?

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?


  • Nov 4, 20102:09 pm
    by detroitpcb


    i do not believe Ben would want to play elsewhere and Joe Dumars would not trade him without Ben’s ok. Not going to happen.

  • Nov 4, 20102:24 pm
    by nuetes


    1st round pick. wallace doesn’t make enough to fetch anything by himself. and then you’d only get offers from playoff teams, devaluing the 1st rounder.

    yeah i doubt he’s going anywhere.

    but say for example you threw him in a deal to atlanta for josh smith. that’s incentive for atlanta because Horford can move to PF and Wallace can play center with Prince at SF. They would still remain a good team. Just an example.

  • Nov 4, 20102:48 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    As I said in the post, I don’t particularly want to see Wallace traded, but I think many teams will want him and ask about him.

    One team that makes a lot of sense is OKC. Something like Eric Maynor and a future first rounder, since the Thunder have about 30 future first rounders, would be a decent yield for him if he ever did ask to be moved to a contender.

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  • Nov 4, 20104:05 pm
    by Laser


    they can ask all they want, i think this one’s moot. he left a lot of money on the table to play here. if we didn’t trade him at the deadline last year (which i thought could have been a good move for both sides), i just don’t see it happening.
    also, ben wallace is a big part of this rebuilding process. he’s a mentor, veteran leader, leads by example. and most importantly, unlike rip and tayshaun, he’s (A) not standing in ANYONE’S way, and (B) dirt cheap. he’s worth more to us as a presence for our young core just to be around and play with.

  • Nov 4, 20104:35 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    It’s certainly moot right now.

    But you’ve pointed out the upcoming schedule many times yourself. If they don’t beat either Charlotte or GS this weekend, 0-12 could be a given. If they don’t get Washington after that, hell, 0-20 is not out of the realm. Schedule after the Washington game is brutal, the team only has one point guard right now who the coach just so happens to hate, and Vince Ellis reported things aren’t so great in the locker room between the veterans and young guys.

    That’s a lot of variables that haven’t played out yet, and I honestly hope they don’t, but do you think if something as disastrous as that happened, Wallace would still feel the same way about sticking around?

    He obviously stayed here because he wanted to be here. But I think things could change for him if they go from a really bad start to a historically bad start.

  • Nov 4, 20106:33 pm
    by Oats


    Ben goes in that OKC deal if he wants to go in that OKC deal you came up with. Maybe he will want to leave if we come out 0-12 and the locker room problems keep getting worse. I think everyone would agree we should not trade him if he doesn’t want to go. The fans would be pissed, and even worse than that would be if other veteran’s found out we didn’t consider the player’s wishes after signing them to a cheap deal. I would also say, that like many fans, I hope he wants to stay put. I’m glad we have him. He makes us a little more watchable, and his work ethic is a good example for the young guys. So, the disclaimers out of the way, on to assuming the premise is valid…
    So, assuming he okays a deal, I’d be pretty open to a deal. A prospect and a first rounder like that Eric Maynor and 1st rounder sounds about right value wise. Using him as incentive to upgrade a trade with another player might work too, but is harder to quantify. Prince and Wallace for Smith still sounds too much like we are winning that deal, so naturally I’d take it if they would. We’d probably have to throw in a top 10 protected first round draft pick to go with it in order for them to consider it, and I’d probably do that. Or maybe it should be the right to trade draft positions over the next 5 years, top 10 protected. Those types of trades are hard to quantify what I’d take for Wallace and what I wouldn’t, since there are so many pieces involved.
    That is if Wallace comes to me and says, “I’d okay a trade to a contender.” If he comes to me and says, “I want out of this place. Get me on a good team,” that would get a different package. A prospect or a first round draft pick would do, even if it is bottom of the first round. Heck, I’d bite on a trade for a second rounder from this past draft that looks pretty good, like Derick Carracter of the Lakers. Again, this is if Wallace came to me and said he wanted out.

  • Nov 4, 20107:59 pm
    by gmehl1977


    Geez if Wallace okay-ed it and delivered us Eric Maynor and 1st rounder, then that would really be one last parting gift from the big man. To me it would make up for him leaving for Chicago…even if it wasn’t all his fault. If that was to play out then you would package Tayshaun with that 1st rounder for Josh Smith. The next step would be to package Rip and Wilcox’s expiring contract for someone or a sack of potatoes.
    I am actually very worried about next season when and if Wallace retires. He is the only one left from 2004 that still has any passion for the game.

  • Nov 4, 20109:40 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    I wouldn’t say that. Prince still plays hard, as evidenced by last night in Atlanta. He showed a lot of pride bouncing back from a bad performance. Prince just seems unbelievably frustrated to me.
    Hamilton, it’s hard to say. He just hasn’t been healthy for three years. I don’t know if that’s a lack of passion to get back out there or if his style of play has just been extra tough on his body. His slim and the constant movement and running off picks can’t be great for the joints.
    I could see both of them being re-invigorated on contending teams. Maybe they’ve lost their passion for Detroit basketball though.

  • Nov 5, 20103:29 am
    by Tom Y.


    I don’t think Ben would come to a point where he “can’t take the losing” anymore. He said he hates it but that doesn’t mean he’d run away from it, that’s not how I understand the guy. He came back knowing where this team was at.
    I’m not that opposed to trading him (for good value and only with his consent), but like Laser said, we have to consider that he gives this team much more than his on-court production right now. He menorship could really have a positive influence on young players’ growth.

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