NBA Rumor Mill: Ben Wallace to the Knicks?

Andrei SanzharovContributor IFebruary 10, 2008

It's official: The Bulls have put Big Ben Wallace on the trading block.

Well he has been there for a while now but no team would dare to think about taking him and his big contract.

It has been suggested that Chicago is having ongoing discussions with the Knicks regarding the Bulls overpaid big man.

Apparently the Knicks are offering (the big contract of) Malik Rose, (the inconsistency of) Quentin Richardson, and (the expiring contract of) Fred Jones for Wallace.

It seems that Isiah Thomas just can't get enough of these bad players with big contracts and always wants more. This time, however, Thomas wants to get rid of a few medium to big contracts in exchange for one big one.

Of his three highest paid Knicks players—Marbury at $20M per season, Randolph at $13M per season and Curry at $9M per season—only Randolph is producing on the floor.

If this trade is to happen it will add yet another big contract to the struggling franchise. Will Big Ben perform for the Knicks? Can he still be a force in the paint?

Surely Isiah Thomas hopes he can. 

If he does, that would add Eddy Curry to the list of bad Knicks contracts who don't play at all. But how will that work considering that Curry is signed for another three years?

While Thomas is trying to add some depth to the power forward and center positions, he forgets about the needs of young (and cheap) David Lee.

Lee is developing into an excellent power forward; he is a ferocious rebounder who is still polishing his offensive skills and will be a free agent in two years. What Lee needs are minutes on the floor and the arrival of Big Ben will counteract his development.

In a little over a years time Lee will expect a serious pay rise from Thomas. Wouldn't it be better for Isiah to wait until next year to ship Rose since his contract expires after next season? He might get a deal like the Lakers got for Pau Gasol. 

Note: Utah is also interested in Wallace in a swap for Andrei Kirilenko. It would be interesting to see whether Kirilenko's light frame would fit playing power forward full-time with the Bulls (as Chicago's small forward role is reserved for Luol Deng).

Utah does not really need Kirilenko anymore with the arrival of Kyle Korver. However, they do need help in the post as they are struggling defensively and with their rebounding numbers. 

Just like the Knicks, the Jazz are hoping that Wallace still has some game left in him. Only time will tell whether Big Ben can still be a productive center in the NBA.