Ben: The Bulls and The Pistons
big move so far in the NBA Free Agency
is Ben Wallace leaving the Detroit Pistons
for the division rival Chicago Bulls.
The Pistons thought by clearing cap space
earlier in 2006 that they would most assuredly
sign the four-time NBA Defensive Player
of The Year for the rest of his career
but things changed when Big Ben hired
Arn Tellem as an agent midseason. Now
after trading 2002 2 nd overall pick Darko
Milicic to Orlando they left themselves
without a center of the future!
Pistons quickly signed free agent center
Nazr Mohammad away from the San Antonio
Spurs for less money and now have more
money to grab a free agent reserve point
guard and swingman to help their bench.
I believe that was the main reason the
Pistons didn't win the NBA title this
year and although Ben Wallace was the
heart of the team's defense efforts, he
did little on offense and allowed teams
to double off him and key on the other
teams offensive threats. The Piston's
Wallace and head coach Flip Saunders didn't
mesh well also and that was evident towards
the end of the season when Wallace refused
to go into a late season game. Many believe
by the time they faced the Miami Heat
in conference finals the rift was too
much to overcome.
will be interesting to see the Bulls play
with a defensive stalwart like Wallace
who has at least 3 very good seasons left
in him. It was clear to me that Chicago
gave World Champion Miami fits with their
youth and athleticism and was missing
defense in their second round matchup.
Now with Wallace and players like Ben
Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Andres
Nocconi and recent acquisition of P.J.
Brown the defense and scoring are here
for the Bulls to step up in the conference.
Pistons won't be going anywhere either
as their starting lineup of Rasheed Wallace,
Chauncey Billups, Tayshawn Prince, Richard
Hamilton and Nazr Mohammad is still the
best in the East. Now if they can add
those bench pieces to accompany Antonio
McDyess they will uses Flip Saunders offense
play calling skills to space and run the
go to both the Pistons' Joe Dumars and
the Bulls' John Paxson because both knew
what they needed even if they made mistakes
to get to that point.
and the coaches he's had in place (Rick
Carlisle, Larry Brown and now Flip Saunders)
did a mediocre job of developing their
young talent at best and led to the Milicic
trade but to pay 15 million dollars for
year for a one sided center when it could
get you two to three players in free agency
would be pigeonholing themselves for years
Paxson, realizing that his team needed
veteran leadership and a anchor on defense
overpaid for Wallace but knows it will
benefit from his experience in the big
games and he will help an already good
defensive team to become a great one with
plenty of young legs to boot!
Has To Go: For The Sixers and Himself
Iverson is a hall of fame player and will
have his jersey retired by the Philadelphia
76ers when he finally retires but it's
time for him to go. If you've read
my columns you know I'm not the biggest
A.I. fan but that isn't why it's time
to say bye to The Answer! It's time to
say goodbye because the team can afford
to bring in the veteran talent needed
to help Iverson to a championship level
and even if they could there's no guarantee
that Iverson could co-exist with them.
been ten years since Iverson came into
the league and I truly wish his success
wherever he goes but can you actually
think of a player he's made better? I
don't mean by scoring to lead to make
his team win, which is a talent in itself,
but actually making a player grow? Everyone
I can think of, from Jerry Stackhouse
to Bruce Bowen and Raja Bell have gotten
better on other teams because someone
shared the ball with them and I think
Iverson has a problem with sharing the
8 assists a game is good for the amount
of touches Iverson gets on the regular
I think he could average 11 assists easy
if he made people like Andre Iguodala
better. For example, imagine Iguodala
on Phoenix playing with Steve Nash and
tell me he couldn't be averaging 18 points
instead of 12!
not saying Iverson can't change (although
after ten years I doubt it) but sometimes
change is need for both parties and Iverson
will have a fresh start to do the same
thing or work as a cog (big or small)
towards a teams success! Paired with players
like Kevin Garnett or a young Carmelo
Anthony would be good because he comes
to that team knowing he's there to assist
them and not be the number one option
like he feels like he's entitled to be
happens I don't want to get traded to
Boston or any other Eastern Conference
team because every time we will play that
team we will have to hear about him and
the team for good and bad.
Billy King make it as clean as possible
and send him to the Western Conference!
That way we will see him twice a year!
The Sixers need to get some young cheap
talent for Iverson in whatever trade they
do and it would be better if it were in
the form of a point guard, power forward
and center to start or back up our currents.
No Webber is a player that I'd get rid
of because of his two years and 40-plus
million dollar contract but I doubt it
can happen! Then again you never know!