When Rasheed Wallace waltzed into the referee’s locker room following Game 7 of the NBA Finals, he wasn’t attempting to murder the men who sent the Lakers parading to the free throw line; he was only trying to say goodbye. At least, that’s how Sheed told it. It wouldn’t have been too out of character if Sheed had actually been going to tear the heads off of some striped shirt-wearing men.
But whatever the reason for his foray into the ref’s room, Sheed was definitely retiring. He was hanging them up for good. Or maybe not. (NBA.com)
With Doc Rivers deciding to return to the Celtics next season, and Boston close to re-signing Paul Pierce to a four-year deal, a source said Saturday night that there is a “possibility” that veteran forward Rasheed Wallace could re-think his decision last month to retire after 15 NBA seasons. The Celtics believed Wallace would retire after the team’s seven-game Finals loss to the Lakers, and he appeared to make the decision final a week or so later.
Because Wallace had two years and $13 million (including $6.32 million next season) remaining on his deal when he retired, the Celtics have been looking into moving his contract to another team, which would then get the savings from Wallace’s cap number, in exchange for assets. But obviously, if Wallace decides to play next season, that team wouldn’t get the money off of its cap.
Needless to say, Sheed’s potential retirement changes things. The Celtics had been dangling Sheed’s retiring contract in hopes of luring a game-changer or two. Now Sheed might come back? Bye-bye, trade bait. Hello, another year of Sheed! If he actually decides not to retire, that is.
For now, I can’t possibly think a team would trade for Sheed thinking he might not retire. No team wants to trade for Sheed’s retiring contract if there’s a chance — even if it’s only a tiny one — that they’ll be paying Sheed $12 mil over the next two seasons. It’s not happening. This report, even if it isn’t true, could kill any trade negotiations Danny Ainge has been in with other GMs.
As for the possibility of Sheed playing? Ummm… Sheed was a full-fledged favorite of mine by the end of the playoffs, even if he spent the regular season killing me softly. If he can get in shape — a big if, considering his body has been getting ever-lumpier for the past five years — Sheed would be a HUGE help while Perkins is injured, and a force off the bench once Perk comes back.
But I just don’t think Sheed has any motivation anymore. As lazy as he was last season, I’d be willing to bet he’d be at least as bad this coming year. His heart isn’t in it anymore, at least not during the regular season. And with Perk out until December or January, the Celtics don’t need a player who’s going to half-ass it for the first 82 games.
It’s weird, too, because if Sheed ever came back in shape he’d be the ideal player to replace Perk for a few months. I just have approximately zero faith that he will. Either way, he’ll probably still retire. I think.