Great Quotes: Rasheed Wallace

The setup: Rasheed Wallace was called for his fifth technical of the season against the Raptors on Friday night. He blames Hedo Turkoglu for flopping.

“They’ve got to know that he’s a [darn] flopper. That’s all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn’t get you nowhere. He acts like I shot him…That’s not basketball, man. That’s not defense. That’s garbage, what it is. I’m glad I don’t have too much of it left…Let the Golden Child [LeBron James] do that, or one of the NBA Without Border kids do that, it’s all fine and dandy.”

Rasheed Wallace, via ESPN

A couple of things to note:

1) Wallace is obviously talking about foreign players when he refers to “NBA Without Border kids” — is that racist? When a foreign player talks about “urban” players in the same way, like Andrew Bogut did when he said that most NBA players “want bling bling all over themselves,” he’s labeled a racist. Granted, Wallace is talking about the game of basketball while Bogut was talking about off-the-court stuff, but still.

2) Flopping exists because the officials won’t blow the whistle unless the defender sells the call. If Shaq uproots his defender in the post, the ref won’t blow the whistle unless the defender falls down. It’s the same way in college and in high school. There has to be some negative effect on the defender and the best way to draw attention to this negative effect is to fall down. The only reasonable way the league can curb flopping is for the officials to reward defenders who stand their ground and not blow the whistle when guys exaggerate the hit.

3) Did Wallace really say “Turkododo”?

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Cavs’ newcomers can’t get it done

The much ballyhooed opener between the Cavs and the Celtics ended in disappointment for Cleveland, as Boston grinded out narrow win, beating the Cavs, 95-89.

LeBron had a great game — it’s sad when we don’t think twice about a 38-point, 8-assist, 4-rebound, 4-block, 2- steal effort — but he once again didn’t get what he needed from his supporting cast.

Shaquille O’Neal was serviceable, posting 10 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes, but he missed a pair of crucial free throws in the fourth quarter when the Cavs were trying to mount a comeback. Anthony Parker, starting in place of the still-missing Delonte West, scored 10 points (on 3-9 shooting), but had a bad sequence in crunch time. In the last three minutes, he missed an open jumper, retreated too early on defense after LeBron shot a long three (missing an opportunity for an easy offensive rebound) and let a James pass sail through his hands and out of bounds. Parker is a good player, but he didn’t show it down the stretch.

As for the Celtics, Doc Rivers was hoping to limit Kevin Garnett to 30 minutes, but he kept him in the game in the fourth quarter when he saw an opportunity to beat the Cavs on their home floor. KG finished with 13/10 (in 33 minutes) and hit a difficult bank shot over O’Neal in the fourth quarter.

Rasheed Wallace came off the bench to score 12 points in 24 minutes. He was in the game in crunch time, essentially splitting time with Kendrick Perkins at center. Paul Pierce led the way for the C’s with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Rasheed Wallace on way to Boston

He had a great run in Detroit, but it looks like Rasheed Wallace is leaving. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated has the scoop:

Free agent forward Rasheed Wallace has agreed to sign with the Boston Celtics, Wallace’s agent, Bill Strickland, told on Sunday. Wallace, who chose the Celtics over San Antonio and Orlando, is believed to have agreed to a two-year deal for Boston’s mid-level exception.

A 14-year NBA veteran, Wallace averaged 12.0 points and 7.4 rebounds with the Detroit Pistons last season.

Well, I didn’t liked Rasheed until he was traded to Detroit during my years at Western Michigan University. Needless to say, I swiftly became a fan as I watched the Pistons rise to the top of the league for the first time since the days of Isaiah Thomas and company. He’s been a polarizing player in the NBA, strongly disliked by many and just as strongly adored by the remainder. Whether or not people like him, he’s quite a character and always entertaining in one way or another.

After the Pistons’ early exit from the playoffs this year, and of course foreshadowed by the Chauncey Billups trade, it’s easy to see the need for a restructuring in Detroit. They need a new core to their team. With Rasheed out, I wonder if Rip Hamilton or Tayshaun Prince will be next…

2009 NBA Free Agency Preview: The top unrestricted free agents

Once the draft is over, the next step of the NBA offseason is the free agency period. Negotiations start July 1, but players have to wait until July 8 to actually sign on the dotted line. Due to the economy, this promises to be an interesting summer, as more franchises seem to be trying to cut payroll than add talent. There are eight teams with significant cap space this summer, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll be willing to use it. Teams that are over the cap can add good players in two ways: 1) they can sign a player to the Mid-Level Exception (MLE), which will be around $5.8 million per season (and can be split up between two or more players), or 2) they can work out a sign-and-trade with the player’s old team.

Below is a list of the top unrestricted free agents this summer. These are players who can sign with whomever they like. They’re ranked in order of total value, which is based on overall talent, age, injury history and cost.

For each player, I’ll provide his position, age, Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and an estimate of what kind of contract he’s likely to sign.

1. Carlos Boozer, PF (27 years-old)
PER: 17.28
At press time, Boozer hasn’t officially opted out, but he is expected to. He can play another year for $12.3 million, but he thinks he’s due for a raise, and I don’t think he’s going to get the kind of raise he’s expecting. Boozer is one of the top 20 players in the league when healthy, but it’s that whole “when healthy” part that’s the problem. Over the past five seasons, he has missed a third of his team’s games. At 27, he’s in his prime, and assuming he has the right supporting cast, I think he can be one of a twosome or threesome on a championship-caliber team. Boozer may not get a raise this summer, but he could get long-term security. The Pistons, Raptors, Kings and Thunder all have the space to make a run at him, but Sacramento and OKC might consider themselves too far away from contending to add a big piece like Boozer. The Pistons seem like the best fit, but they are rumored to have more interest in Ben Gordon. There’s always the possibility that another team works out a sign-and-trade with Utah, but I don’t think anyone is going to give him a max deal, not in this economy.
Value: $12.0 – $13.0 million per year

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NBA Free Agency Rumors: ‘Sheed, Boozer, Sessions and more

SLAM ONLINE has sources that are saying that the Cavs and Rasheed Wallace are working on a two-year deal worth $20 million. The interest was prompted by the fact that Dwight Howard pretty much had his way in the paint against the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. Wallace will be 35 this September, and has averaged about 12 points and seven boards over the last three seasons. He has the ability to spread the court with his shooting ability and has a reputation for doing a good job defensively on Howard, though the Orlando big man averaged 22 points and 15 rebounds in three games against the Pistons this season. If the Cavs do indeed sign Wallace that kind of a contract, it would trim the team’s projected 2010 cap space from $38 million to $28 million. Also, since the Cavs are over the cap, to make this deal happen, they would have to swing a sign-and-trade with Detroit (for Anderson Varejao?). If the deal falls through, SLAM says that the Cavs may move on to Zach Randolph. Wait…whaaa? 6/11 Update: The Cleveland Plain Dealer says that the Wallace rumors are untrue (and would be illegal if they were true).

DESERET NEWS says that Carlos Boozer isn’t sure that he’s going to opt-out of the final year of his contract (that will pay him $12.7 million) by the end of the month. This contradicts everything he’s been saying up until this point. Maybe Boozer isn’t finding that the market for his services is as strong as he thought it was. It might behoove him to play out his contract, stay healthy (this is key) and join the free agent class of 2010. But by going that route, he will lose the security of a long-term deal. Devin Harris says that Boozer is welcome in New Jersey.

– The RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL reports that Ramon Sessions‘ first choice is to stay with the Bucks, but he understands that the club is up against the luxury tax so things are a little dicey. I think the Bucks will wait to see what kind of offer sheet he gets from another team and then decide whether or not they’ll match, though it would be wise to start negotiations now.

– The NEW YORK POST is reporting that the Knicks are eyeing Magic center Marcin Gortat for their mid-level exception. The Knicks are on the hook for about $24 million in payroll heading into the 2010-11 season, which means that they currently project to have roughly $34 million in cap space. If the Knicks use their mid-level this season, it will trim that space by about $6 million.

– Contrary to earlier reports, if his agent has any say, it’s going to be tough for Ben Wallace to retire, according to the NEWS-HERALD. It would be the best thing for the Cavs, but Arn Tellem isn’t going to let him walk away from $14 million.

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