Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Updated: July 23, 5:20 PM ET
Source: 'Sheed back to Pistons
ESPN.com news services
DETROIT -- Rasheed Wallace helped transform the Detroit Pistons from contenders to NBA champions last month. Now, he's
coming back for more.
The unrestricted free agent forward has agreed to a five-year
contract worth $57 million, a source told ESPN Insider Chad Ford on
The Pistons confirmed that there is a deal in place on Thursday, and called a news conference for 11 a.m. ET Friday to
announce the signing.
Wallace, who made $17 million last season, was acquired in a
three-team deal Feb. 19 to put the Pistons over the top. And he
They were a good team without Wallace, ranking among the top
teams in the Eastern Conference with a 34-22 record. They were 20-6
in the regular season and 16-7 in the playoffs after adding him.
The Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers in five games for their
third title, and first since 1990.
Wallace's statistics were not always impressive -- he averaged 13
points, 7.8 rebounds and two blocks in the playoffs -- but his
impact almost always was.
The 6-foot-11, 230-pounder made a stingy defense one of the best
in league history and an average offense better.
Wallace averaged 16 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8
blocks last season, his ninth in the NBA.
The Philadelphia native spent two years at North Carolina before
being taken by Washington with the fourth overall pick in the 1995
Wallace was traded to Portland following his rookie year and
spent the next seven-plus seasons with the Trail Blazers. With an
expiring contract, they traded Wallace to Atlanta, where he stayed
for one game before he was dealt to Detroit just before the trading
Wallace also kept his cool when he arrived.
He was called for just two technicals in the postseason, a total
that may have shocked some who followed his career in Portland.
Wallace broke his own NBA record with 41 technical fouls during
the 2000-01 season, and was once suspended for seven games for
threatening an official after a game. That was the league's longest
suspension for something that didn't involve physical contact or
Wallace didn't have any problems with the Pistons.
In fact, few athletes in Michigan became popular as quickly as
Wallace almost instantly became adored, a fact heard at home
games each time he touched the ball as the crowd shouted:
"It feels good when they do that," Wallace said during the NBA
Wallace, who turns 30 before next season, will be one of five
returning starters for the NBA champion Pistons. He will be backed
up by Antonio McDyess, who was signed to replace Mehmet Okur.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.