Should Pistons Keep Big Ben Ticking?

HANG TIME, Texas – It was a good summer for Big Ben, the iconic symbol of London, still ringing loudly 153 years after its construction along the banks of the Thames.

The question is how much more ticking is left in iconic Big Ben Wallace of DEE-troit BAS-KET-ball! and whether it makes sense to bring the soon-to-be 38-year-old back at a time when the Pistons are striding toward the future.

On one hand, he averaged just 1.3 rebounds and 1.4 points and 15.8 minutes in 37 games last season. On the other, he could step in an right away become the best big man and inside force behind Greg Monroe.

In his PistonPowered blog at the Detroit Free Press, Patrick Hayes acknowledges that newcomers Andre Drummond and Slava Kravstov will need time to develop. He presents the pros and cons of the decision facing general manager Joe Dumars and comes down on the side of a 17th NBA season for Wallace:

I’m not big on the symbolic, mentor type narrative, though. I think Wallace is a positive influence in that regard, but I think his presence on the roster offers something more important. Namely, I don’t think it’s the right move to hand rotation spots to untested players. I think teams that are the best at player development are the teams that make young players earn their spot by beating out an incumbent for minutes.

Wallace would represent a nice in-house challenge for players like Drummond and Kravstov. He’s still a competent NBA rotation player, a heady defender, solid rebounder and, though his offensive contributions are minimal, he is an underrated passer for a big man. Having him in front of Drummond and Kravstov on initial depth charts would set a realistic bar for them to earn minutes. Wallace has enough skill left to offer tangible benefits to the team in limited minutes, reasonable things that they could ask their young bigs to replicate if they want those minutes, but he also doesn’t do present so towering a challenge that it would make it unrealistic for him to be out-produced by Drummond or Kravstov at some point during the season.

As a fan of Wallace, I would love to see him back another season simply because I enjoy watching him play. But his return would not merely be a symbolic gesture. If his presence provides a minimum bar that the young bigs have to reach in order to play, the team will be better in the long run for having him around one more season.

32 Comments

  1. CJ says:

    Since he will retire soon he might as well stay a Piston

  2. jake says:

    Bring back Billups,hamilton,Big Ben to Pistons!

  3. Kenshin says:

    Bring BIG BEN to the Heat. With all the shooters they have they need a Center that could help them with the rebound. and his a defensive minded player.

  4. dexter says:

    BIG BEN FIT TO MIAMI

  5. Bones says:

    Big Ben remains the heart beat of Detroit. To have him there mentoring and developing young men in body, mind and heart is something special. Bring him back Joe!

  6. Belizeboy says:

    He’s barley ticking now, and since 08 I had forgotten he was even still playing. Time to retire.

  7. renz_garnett says:

    go to clippers or boston.. teach griffin and jordan some defense not just dunks.. or help garnett in boston..

  8. Blah says:

    Anyone that says trade him to their team is an idiot. Ben Wallace WANTS to be a Piston because he IS a Piston. Rip Hamilton even said that he didn’t do well while he played for Chicago and Cleveland because he was a Piston at heart. Why else would he return to a struggling franchise when he could’ve gone somewhere else that can compete? He will stay on the Pistons and retire as one.

  9. merryhairyfish says:

    Dont’t worry im not lbj :)
    Miami should have signed big ben instead of Rashard Lewis.

    Starting Lineup Chalmers,wade,lebron,battier,bosh
    Bench Cole, Miller,Jones, Haslem, Wallace

  10. Ravensbball says:

    Big Ben should go to Wolves, a team which could really benefit from the defensive impact that he brings, that way not only will they be better defensively but also they will have added some depth in the 5 spot. Also by no means am I a wolves fan btw, I just think its a bit of a waste for someone at Wallaces calibre to play for a team that most likely wont make the playoffs, especially at his age where it would be nice to finish his career with 1 more ring.

  11. FAN says:

    he is one of those centers who lack height but has a big heart for the game

  12. Joseph_03 says:

    Big men just really don’t develop as quickly as their wing or guard counterparts. Most never really develop tot heir full potential, The thing is, Having Ben Wallace around an enigma like Andre Drummond could work wonders, what if Big Ben’s on and off the court work ethic rubs off on someone with his physical gifts add too his style of play?

  13. Kyle says:

    trade him to Boston

    • celtics fan says:

      boston would be a nice fit but we have a 15 man roster already so its either the pistons amnesty him or waive and
      boston waives jamar smith non guarnted contract and boston signs him. he is still a quality center

  14. jcrazy says:

    he should play for miami no dobt.
    if they trade bosh and james to get wallace miami will be unstoppable.

  15. Koryto says:

    he averaged 4.3 rebs per game

  16. Angelo says:

    still waiting for Miami bandwagoners to say that he should go to the Heat if he wants another title.

  17. tenby says:

    Even at his age, a lot of NBA teams would still be interested of him. I say, send him to the Lakers to give D12 lessons on maturity. He will be the Kurt Rambis type for the Lakers.

  18. I hope big ben continues his career for a little bit more

  19. semikalosi says:

    This may be a head scratcher to some, but Wallace is my favourite Centre of all time. His story as a whole has inspired me (and many others, i’m sure) to play bigger than what I am…

  20. danito says:

    big ben should always be welcome here in detroit, i remember them days good, in 2003 2004. he still can give u a good 15 mint of defense a game. keep the big fella

  21. Symmachus says:

    Having Ben Wallace back for another season would be cool. He has definitely had a full and excellent career, and it’s really cool that he was able to accomplish it without being drafted. Whatever happens, I can respect it.

    Just to point out some information, in 2011-12, he averaged 4.3 rebounds per game and played 62 games, as opposed to 1.3 in 37 games.

  22. Trigga says:

    Would be nice to see him play again, but i dont want him to get hurt and have to end his career like that.

  23. ben clark says:

    Kinda weird in my top 3 theres 2 pistons with a bull rose rodman Wallace

  24. MikeFromDetroit says:

    I went to almost every piston game last year to see big ben…my fav center….i would love to see him on the bench and helping andre drummond and monroe out some more…he might be just what drummond need to help develop him.

  25. great example of defensive skill says:

    for the youngsters in the league now. They just need to watch archive footage of BW at work – esp. during the playoffs. He’s definitely one of the best defensive stoppers in recent NBA history. Add his name to a long list of great, defensive bigs like Russell, Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Shaq & Garnett. This is not a bad move – at all, development wise, for Motown. The young bigs there have an opportunity to learn from one of the best D-guys of his generation.

  26. trav says:

    The interesting thing is that if Ben Played 35-40 minutes a game the last 2 seasons, he probably would have averaged 10 – 12 boards and 2-3 blocks a game.. But obviously if he played that much, that wouldn’t help the development of the other players. So he’s been restricted to 15 min, but man, When I watched him, he can move better than most young players and when he gets over 30 min (which was rare) he always got at least 10 reb and a few block. My point being, he can still play, just not the dunker or the dominate defensive monster he once was.

  27. Victor Manoel says:

    Great player. If he still wants to compete and help the youngters in Detroit, I think it would be a valid attempt, as the league is lacking in big men…

  28. Mikey says:

    Always appreciated what Benny Wallace brought to the table though I wasn’t a Pistons fan, he’s had a very solid career I’d say, and I wish him the best!

  29. me says:

    hell yea. If they don’t wnat him, pls send him to Boston, they need a decent center at least