Big Ben To The Bulls
According to Chad Ford of espn.com, Ben Wallace has agreed to a 4 year, $52 million deal with the Chicago Bulls (story here).
If this goes ahead, this move will dramatically shift the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, and could set the Bulls up as the primary challenger to the Miami Heat for conference supremacy.
**Tuesday Morning Update** - It now looks like the deal is for 4 years, and $60 million, which pretty much uses up Chicago's cap space (save a couple of mil). Rumors abound that Tyson Chandler is on the move, with New Orleans as a likely destination (in exchange for PJ Brown and guard JR Smith). It makes sense to move Chandler, though I think that the Bulls are going to end up with a low-post scorer at some point. If they get Smith, I can't help but think that they'll be looking to move either him or Ben Gordon for a big man.
As for the Pistons, they're in a difficult spot because they only have about $5 million to address needs at the 4/5, and in the back court. If they go with a starting five of 'Sheed, McDeyss, Prince, Billups and Hamilton, they'll be in good shape, but I worry about the injury-prone McDeyss' ability to hold up as a starter for 80 games. They have a couple of kids at the 3 and 4 respectively (Carlos Delfino and Jason Maxiell) who should help, but unless they find someone to take on some of Big Ben's minutes at center, they won't be able to compete with the bigger teams in the conference.
They've been linked to Al Harrington (via a sign and trade with Atlanta), but don't have the salaries to ship to Atlanta to make it work (unless they packaged both McDeyss and Dale Davis). Suffice to say, unless they sign 3 marginal players, I don't see how they're going to fill out their bench without seeing a dramatic decline in the level of talent from last year to next.
Now, with that being said, we should never underestimate Joe Dumars, who has proven himself, as an executive, to be the antithesis of his former Pistons back court mate.