Wednesday, after the Pistons fired coach Flip Saunders, ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan posted a story on Flip’s inability to gain the respect of the Piston veteran players, specifically Rasheed Wallace, saying that Wallace has only shown respect to two coaches in his entire career: Dean Smith and Larry Brown.
Then yesterday, Rick Bonnell posted a rare speculative opinion piece in the Observer practically begging the Bobcats to make a trade offer for the former All-Star. Bonnell makes a lot of good points. Yes, Wallace will be 34 years old next season and yes, he does come with some baggage. But he’s also in the last year of his contract and would be the PERFECT complement to Okafor at the PF position.
I agree with Bonnell that it would be a good move. Wallace brings passion and intelligence to the game and could even be groomed by Brown to be the Bobcats head coach one day.
One caveat: Joe Dumars. Dumars is one of the League’s shrewdist GMs working today and there is no doubt that he will try to get a buck-fifty on the dollar for Rasheed in a trade (Bobcats fans: See the Mohammed for Herrmann/Brezec trade for details). So what will it take to bring #36 to CLT? Probably the 9th pick to start. The trouble is if Dumars asks for Sean May in return. May has been disappointing in his three non-seasons with the team but he still has value and would really benefit from playing a season or two behind Wallace in the rotation as he comes off micro-fracture surgery. Maybe a combination of Adam Morrison (expiring deal), Mohammed, and the #9 would do it.
If the deal were to go down, there would no doubt be the initial anti-Tarheel backlash. Just remember this: the last time coach Brown had two Wallaces in his lineup, he managed two Finals appearances and a ring.