Los Angeles Lakers: Why Signing Rasheed Wallace Would Be Both Good and Bad

Vaughn JohnsonCorrespondent IIFebruary 24, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Rasheed Wallace #30 of the Boston Celtics warms up before Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

According to this story from Rant Sport, the Los Angeles Lakers are close to signing the once-retired Rasheed Wallace.

Nothing is for certain, but if he is signed, Wallace could bring both good and bad qualities to the Lakers.

Let's get the bad ones out of the way first. Wallace is old—plain and simple. Wallace turned 37 years old in September and is coming out of a brief retirement.

The old saying goes, "With age comes wisdom." But the Lakers have enough of both already. Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher have both played since the mid-1990s, and Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace (or the artist formerly known as Ron Artest) and even Andre Bynum have put in their fair shares of time in the NBA.

One of the things that made a potential trade for Chris Paul or Dwight Howard, so appealing was that they were young and in their prime, not over the hill and old like Wallace.

Another bad thing is more technical fouls. The Lakers have to worry about this enough with World Peace, Bryant and even head coach Mike Brown. Now they would add a guy in Wallace who was notorious for receiving technical fouls throughout a career, routinely leading the NBA.

Wallace does have some redeeming qualities, though. The list isn't very long; but they do exist.

For one, Wallace will bring toughness to the post on defense that the Lakers sorely lack as they are currently constructed. Gasol and Bynum are great offensive players; but on defensive they are another story. In particular, Gasol has been infamous for not being the toughest defender in the world.

Wallace will not be asked to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds like Gasol and Bynum are capable of, but he can defend and at least make people think twice before coming into the lane against the Lakers. Wallace will also bring more leadership to the Lakers. Los Angeles has solid leadership in Bryant and Fisher, but you can never have enough leaders on your team.

For all the things that Wallace was known for in his heyday, he was never really known as a bad teammate. Wallace will not be a leader on the court—that's Bryant's job—but off the court and in the locker room he can provide leadership.

The move to sign Wallace also comes with very little risk. It's an experiment in which, more or less, if it doesn't work, the Lakers could easily let him go and move on without him.

Wallace may not make the Lakers into the instant NBA championship contenders that they want to be; but it's not the worst move in the world either.

The Lakers recognized they had to do something and they did.

It may not be the move everyone expected or wanted, but it's a move nonetheless.