Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Is Big Ben Worth It?
Big Ben Wallace signed a four year deal worth $60 million with the Chicago Bulls and nobody seems to be up in arms over one of the worst signings we have seen in years. That's right, this will rank up there with Brian Cardinal and Adonal Foyle. Forget the ESPN reputation Wallace has built over the years by virtue of playing for a great team with other terrific players like Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace and Rip Hamilton. If things go down like I expect and Tyson Chandler is traded then Ben Wallace replaces an almost mirror image of himself. It's like Fresh Prince of Bel Air switching moms and no one even notices. The Bulls will be the same exact team with a bigger name but the same production. You don't believe me? Let's explore the numbers.
2005-2006 stats
points per 40 minutes
Wallace 8.3
Chandler 7.9
rebounds per 40 minutes
Wallace 12.8
Chandler 13.5
FG %
Wallace 51%
Chandler 56.5%
Blocks per 48 minutes
Wallace 2.21
Chandler 2.36
Not enough for you? According to ESPN's resident statistician John Hollinger, Chandler has been the better rebounder for the last three seasons, topping Wallace in the rebound rate category. Moreover, the best comparison he could come up with for Wallace at the same age in his career is Dale Davis. Would you ever give Dale Davis$15 million a year and make him the highest paid player on your team? If you know anything about basketball, you certainly wouldn't pay a hefty price like that for a role player. That's like paying the Hina in National Treasure $15 million dollars to do the movie. Sure she looks hot and ofcourse she makes the movie slightly better but it's Pg13 so she doesn't take her clothes off and the movie still sucks really badly. I'm not sure where I'm going with this. Let's move on.
I'm assuming the Bulls are making a championship run. Their lineup will probably look something like this:
PG Duhon
SG Hinrich
SF Deng
PF Nocioni
C Chandler
Key Bench Players: Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas
A pretty good playoff lineup? yes. A championship lineup? NO. The Bulls are one player away and Ben Wallace is not the answer. A good defensive team just got slightly better but with no Prince defending on the perimeter, things just got a lot tougher on Wallace who is a terrific defender but not a huge upgrade over Chandler. Offensively, the Bulls still struggle down the stretch to put the ball in the hole and they still lack a go to guy in crunch time. No offense to Ben Gordon, but he reminds me of an upper middle class man's Tony Delk.
Alright, it's July 4th, and I think I'm already starting to be hungover. Happy Independence Day. NBA General Managers, stop making dumb moves. Aight, thanks.

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