Need For Sheed

Just traded text messages with Mike Dowling, who has confirmed that the Celtics have agreed to terms with big man Rasheed Wallace, late of the Pistons.

We believe it’s a 2-year deal for the Celtics’ mid-level exception, which, once the salary cap is determined, will be a little less than $6 million per season.

Wallace is definitely one of the league’s more charismatic players (for better or worse) but he’s also one of the best when he wants to be. The solid outside shooter and defender was the centerpiece of a Pistons team that was always in the title chase (and won it all in 2004). You have to think the intensity of Kevin Garnett and the professionalism of Ray Allen will keep ‘Sheed focused on the big picture.

The Celtics definitely need another big man, especially with Leon Powe out for the long term rehabbing his knee injury. I truly hope this signing doesn’t mean the end of Leon’s time with the Celtics as has been rumored. It’s not unreasonable to try and get him to sign a minimum deal while he rehabs. Maybe it’s wishful thinking as Leon has been a great guy (and a great story) to cover over the past two years. He’s earned his spot here in Boston.

Two other players to watch now that ‘Sheed is off the table. Big Baby and David Lee. Baby is a restricted free agent and allegedly courting a lot of interest. The right offer from another team may be too much for the Celtics’ tastes. Lee also stands to benefit. Teams like San Antonio that were in on the Wallace sweepstakes might turn their attention to the Knicks double-double man.

Mike is still working the phones. Check out SportsCenter 5 OT tonight at 11:25 for updates.

–SI

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