No Need for 'Sheed: Why Rasheed Wallace Won't Return To the Boston Celtics

Zachary StanleyCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 03:  Rasheed Wallace #30 of the Boston Celtics looks on during warm ups against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game One of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 3, 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 Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

OK, so I don't have a source for this, but who needs one?

The logic for how insensible and unnecessary a Wallace return would be is relatively simple.

Thanks to Steven A. Smith for spurring the meaningless headlines.

“I'm here to tell you that Rasheed Wallace will come out of retirement once the (Feb. 24) trading deadline expires in all likelihood, because he wants another shot at the Lakers,” Smith said.

After Celtics head coach Doc Rivers rejected any rumors of discussions with Rasheed, Wallace's agent all stepped up the plate to say that he has not received any such indication from his client:

"I don't think that's the case—for now anyway," Wallace's agent Bill Strickland told FanHouse. "He has a period of time to where he may be thinking about it, but he has not given me any indication of his intent to return...He's still saying that for now he's good, that he's OK where he is."

Smith has recently adjusted his claims, saying that the conversation took place “months ago.”

Paul Pierce had a conversation about a February return with August. Wallace probably has little desire to come back after watching the pieces come together for his former team.

Coming out of retirement may have made sense a couple months ago (maybe) when Shaquille and Jermaine O'Neal were struggling with injuries and a veteran time slot might have made sense.

But Wallace's services are no longer needed.

Wallace, for whatever reason, took on a less physical role in his final NBA season. Wallace had clearly lost his step, his aggressiveness and had even dropped off a bit in his specialty—defense.

At least Boston could still rely on Wallace's signature deep jumpers, right? Not really.

Not only had Wallace lost the ability to push off on his turnaround, but struggled to hit his open looks.

Wallace had the worst statistical season of his career in nearly every category: field goal percentage (40.9), three-point percentage (an abysmal 28.3), points, rebounds and assists. Of course, the latter three categories took a big hit from an appropriate lack of minutes, but this reasoning cannot be applied to the percentages.

Wallace was dreadful (although I do give him ups for a hard fought Game 7 of the NBA Finals).

Where would Wallace fit in now?

With Kendrick Perkins and Delonte West due back, the Celtics rotation will have filled out. With Garnett, Perkins, Davis, Shaq and even Luke Harangody making up the Celtics big men, few minutes would be left for Wallace (I left out Jermaine O'Neal due to J.O.'s likelihood of season-ending surgery).

Would I take what little minutes might be available from a young and tenacious Harangody over an aging Wallace? Possibly. There is no need for an extra veteran presence (or to make the league's oldest team even older).

Wallace was clearly past his solid playing days last season. He was out of shape and somewhat out of sync with the Celtics offense.

Glen Davis is en route to his best season and now has the talent and poise to sustain heavy minutes. Shaq will soon come off the bench; along with West, Daniels, Davis and Robinson, the five will make up a formidable second set of players behind the starters.

With Perkins coming back soon and West to follow, the Celtics will have more than enough chemistry adjustments to make. It will take at least a couple weeks to get back into the groove and trying to supply Wallace with some charity minutes is pointless.

The 14-year veteran simply no longer brings anything to the table.