Rasheed Wallace’s signing with the Knicks has been a long time coming. In fact, Wallace’s apparent desire to join the Knicks was a factor when the Pistons traded for him in 2004. Chad Ford of ESPN at the time:
The Pistons added one of the better low-post scorers in the league in Wallace, a point guard in James who has actually outperformed the guy they shipped out (Atkins), and they cleared nearly $9 million in cap room earmarked for restricted free agent Mehmet Okur.
The ability to re-sign Okur is the ultimate prize for Detroit. A Pistons source told Insider that the team gave no assurances to Wallace that it would re-sign him this summer. Instead, the Pistons are protecting the extra $4.5 million in cap room they just cleared to make sure that another team under the cap, such as Utah, Phoenix or Denver, can’t steal Mehmet away.
Here’s the bad news for those thinking that Thursday’s trade means that one of them are available. Pistons president Joe Dumars wants to re-sign both Wallace and Okur this summer if they both get along over the next 30 plus games.
Sources claim that Wallace has already sent out feelers out about staying in Detroit, quashing the notion that he’ll only play for the Knicks this season. With the Pistons looking at between $9 and $11 million in cap room, can Joe D get it done?
We all know how the story ends. Wallace and Okur helped Detroit win the championship that year. The Pistons re-signed Wallace, and though he had a good run with them, they never won another championship. With the Pistons unable to keep both and stay under the luxury-tax threshold, they allowed Okur to sign with Utah, where he was paid well and pretty successful.
And today, Sheed finally becomes a Knick.
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