Two quotes, the first from YAYSports' NBA Blog preview:Chicago is a 41-41 team that added something they didn't need - more defense.
The next one from Cavalier Attitude says pretty much the same thing, with more: Signing Ben Wallace won't make the Bulls much better than they were before.
It seemed like the biggest free agent signing of the summer, but only because this was one of the weakest free agent classes in years. And all Chicago got was an older, wiser version of the guy they gave up on, Tyson Chandler, at center.
Look, Ben Wallace is the best interior defender in the NBA. But the guy proved to be a major liability at the free throw line throughout the regular season and especially the playoffs. With every "clank," I thought he was losing millions in free agent dollars. Chicago didn't think so. Now they have Big Ben on the books until His Fro-ness turns 35. Keep in mind that Bulls general manager John Paxson has been extremely stingy with owner Jerry Reinsdorf's wallet and, as of yet, has not signed Kirk Hinrich to an extension or picked up the fourth year option on Ben Gordon. These two players should be a part of Chicago's foundation for this year and beyond. What kind of message would Paxson be sending if he unloads either one of these two young players in the future to make room on the payroll for Wallace's monster contract for the next several seasons? That it's "now or never" for the "Not-Baby-Anymore" Bulls?
Defensive stalwarts are great, but 31-year old defensive stalwarts who are complete offensive liabilities and atrocious at the free throw line aren't going to get a team from 41-41 to even 50 wins. And remember: 50 wins only got the Cavs the fourth seed last year.
I love the part about Paxson being stingy. I guess that's what Cavs fans call a GM who won't give out max contracts to the likes of Larry Hughes. :-)