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Ben Wallace used to be the league's premier defensive player. Used to be.
A lifetime ago, Ben Wallace was the most intimidating defensive force in basketball.
He won four Defensive Player of the Year awards thanks to his transcendent ability to protect the rim.
But today, Wallace is 38 years old and doesn’t have anywhere near the athleticism required to play defense like he used to.
He still takes up plenty of space in the paint and can alter shots, but his defensive ability no longer makes up for his utter helplessness on the offensive end.
Last season, Wallace scored 3.6 points per 36 minutes (via Basketball Reference) and shot less than 40 percent from the floor.
It used to be that Wallace could at least score off of offensive rebounds and put-backs, but his declining athleticism has all but taken that ability from him. To make matters worse, Wallace can't even help his team at the charity stripe, because he’s a career 41-percent free-throw shooter.
Any team that signs Wallace will almost literally have to play four-on-five on the offensive end.
He still rebounds at a decent clip, snagging 9.9 boards per 36 minutes (via Basketball Reference), but that's about all he's able to provide.
Wallace could be serviceable, but his defense and rebounding no longer outweigh his offensive deficiencies.
Any team looking for a cheap rebounder/rim-protector would be better served looking for a player with a bit more offensive pop.