|Celtics sign Rasheed Wallace||07.08.09 at 2:49 pm ET|
On Wednesday the Celtics announced the signing of free agent Rasheed Wallace. Terms of the deal were not disclosed per team policy. However the contract is reported to be two years worth the mid-level of approximately $5.7 or $5.8 million per season.
“We are ecstatic to be able to add a player the caliber of Rasheed Wallace to our team,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge in a team statement. “It is not every day that you can add a four-time All-Star and a player with championship experience.”
Update: The Boston Globe has reported Wallace signed a three-year contract with a third-year player option.
|The need for Sheed||07.05.09 at 10:57 pm ET|
Once the Celtics interest in Rasheed Wallace became known, and once the other free agent prizes began to find teams, it became more and more apparent that the Celtics had to get a deal done with Wallace. Not because Cleveland traded for Shaquille O’Neal or because Orlando added Vince Carter, but because Wallace is exactly what the Celtics need, and there is no one else remotely like him available.
The Celtics came into this offseason with three identifiable areas of need: A backup point guard who can run the team competently when Rajon Rondo goes to the bench, a versatile swing man–preferably one who can guard at least two positions, make a jump shot and give Paul Pierce some real rest–and a big man. Already in luxury tax territory and armed with the mid-level exception the Celtics had one big play to make and to that end they wisely stayed out of the limited point guard pool and the big-money small forward arms race. In zeroing in on Wallace, the Celtics identified their biggest need and spent accordingly.
Wallace’s agent, Bill Strickland, made noises during the courtship that a selling point for Wallace was assurances that the Celtics were not done making moves. They still have the bi-annual exception (projected to be around $2 million) and if they can land someone like Grant Hill, that would represent the best-case scenario. But there are still a few solid veterans looking for new homes, like Marquis Daniels, Quinton Ross and Anthony Parker, as well as in-house options like Brian Scalabrine, JR Giddens and Bill Walker. The Celtics have options, in other words.
But landing a quality big man was always the top priority and in Wallace the Celtics not only get an intelligent, versatile veteran who has been on a championship team, they also get something they did not have at all last season: protection in case Kevin Garnett or Kendrick Perkins gets hurt.
Wallace is much more than an insurance policy, however. His offensive game may have gotten a little too perimeter-heavy last season, but his style of play fits perfectly in the Celtics system which rarely utilizes a low-post option. Additionally his ability to guard power forward and centers, particularly centers, is a huge addition for the Celtics who haven’t really had that player during the Big 3 era (except for PJ Brown’s playoff run), and they have had to ask undersized power forwards like Leon Powe and Glen Davis to play out of position.
The Celtics still need a backup point guard and seem content to try to lure one with the veteran minimum like maybe Ty Lue (one of Kevin Garnett’s best friends) and that small forward, but they just solved their biggest offseason problem with the addition of Rasheed Wallace.
|Wallace to sign two-year deal with Celtics||at 8:46 pm ET|
Jeff Goodman of WEEI.com and FoxSports.com has learned from a source Rasheed Wallace will sign a two-year deal with the Celtics for the mid-level, which is worth approximately $5.7 or $5.8 million per season. Free agents can sign on July 8.
The Celtics made an aggressive bid for the four-time NBA All-Star when Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers, Danny Ainge, and Wyc Grousbeck flew to Michigan to meet with him last week. Wallace had reportedly garnered attention from several championship-contending teams, including the Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs.
Wallace, 34, was selected by the then-Washington Bullets with the fourth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. Kevin Garnett was selected with the fifth pick. Wallace has a career average of 15.0 points and 6.9 rebounds in over 1,000 games. He currently ranks ninth among all active players in blocks (1375). (Click here to see an example of his recent handiwork against the Celtics.)
Part of Wallace’s appeal is his inside-outside game. Listed as a forward-center, the 6-foot-11 Wallace is also dangerous from long range. Last season he shot 35.4 percent from behind the arc and led the Pistons in three-point shots with 113, just six less than Paul Pierce.
Even more important to the Celtics, he has proven postseason experience. Wallace has advanced to the playoffs in every season since 1997 and averaged 14.6 points and 5.7 rebounds in the postseason. He won the NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. He averaged 12.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks against the Celtics in the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals.
Wallace has also earned a reputation for being an emotional player. He has been suspended for exceeding the limit of 16 technical fouls in a season.
|Report: Celtics offered Wallace contract||07.02.09 at 4:35 pm ET|
The Celtics have offered Rasheed Wallace a contract using their mid-level exception, according to Marc Spears of the Boston Globe. The contract was reportedly offered during a three-hour meeting in which Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Doc Rivers, Danny Ainge, and Wyc Grousbeck traveled to Detroit. Wallace did not make a decision.
|Report: Celtics to meet with Wallace in Michigan||at 11:22 am ET|
Comcast SportsNet’s Gary Tanguay has reported Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers, Danny Ainge, and Wyc Grousbeck are traveling to Michigan to meet with free agent Rasheed Wallace. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce may join them.
Wallace has garnered interest from several championship contending teams since becoming an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.
|Report: Ainge confirms interest in Wallace||07.01.09 at 2:09 pm ET|
Comcast SportsNet’s Gary Tanguay reported Danny Ainge has confirmed the Celtics interest in free agent Rasheed Wallace. According to Tanguay, the Celtics will meet with Wallace soon but no timeline has been set. The full interview with Ainge will air tonight on Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight.
|Perk vs. Bynum: Christmas Day Battle of the Bigs||12.24.08 at 10:01 am ET|
There was an overwhelming sentiment by Los Angeles Lakers fans after the Boston Celtics won the NBA championship last season.
“If we had Andrew Bynum, it would have been different.”
He would have shut down Kendrick Perkins, who made Pau Gasol look soft. He would have stopped the Celtics from scoring 131 points in their Game Six victory. He would have helped the Lakers win it all … right?
Not so fast.
Eyes will be on Bynum and Perk on Christmas Day as the Lakers look to snap the Celtics 19-game winning streak, with many hoping Bynum will dominate Perkins and the Cs in the paint. Both big men went through struggles early in the season but Perk has demonstrated the maturity to overcome his setbacks while Bynum continues to be inconsistent.
Perkins was called for nine technical fouls by the first week in December. He looked like an emotional ticking time bomb on the court and was on pace to unseat Rasheed Wallace as the King of the Ts. But then something clicked. Perkins channeled his energy to his own game, focusing on his shot and protecting the glass. In the ten games since his last technical foul, he is shooting better than 60% from the field and averaging nearly 13 points and 10 rebounds. Last week Perkins posted 25 points and eight rebounds against the Chicago Bulls … without a single foul.
Whether it is the veteran leadership of the Big Three, the momentum of a historic winning streak, or simply the maturation process, Perkins has taken his game out of his head and onto the court. He is just as reliable at the start of the game as he is at the end in close situations. The same can’t be said for Bynum.
This season Bynum has found himself on the bench down the stretch, and he’s let everyone know he thinks he deserves more. Unlike the Celtics, who don’t get the nod until they’ve earned the minutes, Bynum wants more time to prove himself on the court. How did Phil Jackson respond? “When he shows the ability to play defense appropriately, he’ll probably be there,” Jackson said. It’s a clear message that hasn’t seemed to resonate.
On the night of Perkins’ season-high performance, Bynum was held to four points, six rebounds, and four fouls in a two-point loss to the Miami Heat. He followed up that game with just three points, one rebound, and five fouls in a loss to the Orlando Magic. Having a bad night against Dwight Howard is one thing, but four points against Joel Anthony? There’s no explanation for that when you’re supposed to be the savior of a championship contender. Even though his performance slightly improved in the past two games, which version of Bynum will show up against the Celtics?
“If we had Andrew Bynum, it would have been different.”
On Christmas Day the Celtics and Lakers will see just how different it could have been.
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