The big news for the Celtics this off-season has finally landed. Boston signed Rasheed Wallace, former Detroit Piston, to a two year deal at the mid-level exception ($5.6 M - $5.8 M). The mid-level exception is used for teams that are already over the salary cap. Here is a very nice definition of the mid-level exception from SportsCity:
The Mid-level exception - Teams are allowed to sign one or multiple players as long as they do not exceed the total mid-level exception. The Mid-level exception is set at what the average NBA salary is. Only teams that are over the Salary Cap can use the mid-level exception to sign free agents.
Sheed has always been one of those players that I hate to see when he comes into town, especially in the post season. Wallace is a big man that can also shoot the lights out at the top of the key. Rasheed is starting to age and at 34 now, it has shown over the past three years. Still a great shooter, but Wallace's points, assists and blocks per game have all declined since the 2005-06 season when Rasheed played in his third NBA all-star game. Although Wallace made the all-star game again in 2007-2008, it's easy to see that he isn't the same player he was back in '05.
Rasheed Wallace should be a great addition to the Celtics bench to give Kevin Garnett some rest. Wallace could see 20-24 minutes per game and give Boston the edge in some down to the wire games. Knowing the Celtics like we do, they're going to need as much of an edge as they can get in those one point and two point victories that they love to give us every season.
The Free Agent Market
With the signing of Rasheed Wallace, the Celtics have to make some decisions about their intentions with Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Leon Powe. Glen Davis broke out of his shell last season while Kevin Garnett was out with a knee injury. Being at games in the '07-'08 season, it was easy to see that Big Baby was new to the NBA and still showed fear being unable to adjust to the speed and power difference in the game from college. After more minutes and a great support system, Davis turned into a complete NBA big man in the 2008-09 season while filling in that leadership role.
Leon Powe suffered time lost due to injuries last season but proved himself in the Cetics 2008 Championship season. With the addition of Rasheed Wallace, there won't be a need for the Celtics to keep Powe and Big Baby, and someone's going to have to go. I like Leon and think he's a great player and very much a factor in Boston's Championship, but with the display of improvement and power that Big Baby showed when KG and Powe were both out injured, the Celtics should do whatever they have to do to keep Glen Davis.
Thanks to Keith Allison for the picture of Rasheed Wallace.