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Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Big Ben Wallace Trade


ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting on The Big Ben Wallace Trade which is not yet official.

Here are the particulars as reported in Trade Machine format, which is a nice way to look at it with salaries and all that. 

Some initial thoughts about what this does for each team

Chicago The Bulls swap Ben Wallace's terrible contract for Larry Hughes's terrible -- but slightly smaller -- contract. (Both have two years left after this year.) Chicago saves something like $3 million this year. They also lose both their starting big men, and replaces them with Drew Gooden, which opens playing time for quality youngsters Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas. Also, while many have their complaints about Gooden having defensive lapses and the like, he has always put up solid numbers, and just went to the NBA Finals. This move also removes their only real center, and I am not at all sure who on this team now guards Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Yao Ming, or Shaquille O'Neal. It also probably makes guys like Thabo Sefolosha a little nervous. He has been playing well, but Larry Hughes has to take time from someone. They also get a second round pick, and a free swing on Cedric Simmons.

Seattle Wally Szczerbiak has a year and a half left on a deal that pays him $12 million this season. Adrian Griffin and Donyell Marshall make about seven over the same period, while Newble comes off the books this summer. So, this money-losing franchise gets to lose a little less, while acquiring cap space for fancy maneuvers down the road.

Cleveland In the strange world of NBA trades, apparently only one team out of these three seems was really motivated by the idea of importing better players than they currently have. Ben Wallace has been decent of late, and brings LeBron James a veteran teammate who has thrived in playoff wars. (And now the Suns are betting on the body of Shaquille O'Neal, it almost seems impertinent to question the age or vibrance of Wallace.) Joe Smith replaces some of what they lost by saying goodbye to Gooden. I'm not sure if you can play two offensively challenged big men -- Anderson Varejao and Ben Wallace -- together at the same time, which to me means Smith will likely be on the floor whenever Ilgauskas is not. Wally Szczerbiak will be a better Donyell Marshall -- the shooter LeBron James passes to when everyone collapses on him in the lane. West is a useful guard on a team that needs guard help, and now the organization gets to move on from the Larry Hughes experiment.