Report: Former Celtics Player Rasheed Wallace to Sign With Los Angeles Lakers

by abournenesn

Feb 24, 2012

Report: Former Celtics Player Rasheed Wallace to Sign With Los Angeles LakersLast time Rasheed Wallace stepped foot on an NBA basketball court, the 15-year veteran was donning a Boston Celtics uniform in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

Nearly two years later, Wallace is apparently returning to the hardwood for the very team that kept the Celtics from capturing their 18th NBA Championship that year, the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet New England, Wallace is planning to sign with the Lakers.

The four-time All-Star's addition to the Lakers could foreshadow a far bigger deal to come and may well mean the end for current Lakers forward Pau Gasol, who has been rumored in trade discussions for weeks. But Blakely says the move could have a different purpose.

"His addition will likely fuel rumors that the Lakers will become even more aggressive in their decision to trade away Pau Gasol," Blakely said of the reported signing. "However, a front office executive whose team has had both internal and external discussions about Gasol, said the addition of Wallace will only be to strengthen their bench."

Even with the Gasol rumors continuing to buzz about the NBA, the Wallace move may have been made simply to bolster the Lakers front-court depth. Beyond Gasol and Andrew Bynum, the Lakers have been extremely thin on the blocks apparently missing the presence of current Dallas Mavericks forward Lamar Odom.

During his stint in Boston Wallace severely underperformed, though, averaging just 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, well below his career averages of 14.6 and 6.7.He also appeared overweight and visibly out of shape for much of the season.

Wallace did manage 11 points and eight rebounds in 36 minutes of play during the Celtics Game 7 final, filling in for the injured Kendrick Perkins. However, he was clearly outworked by Gasol, fouling out late in the fourth quarter and allowing a distinct 53-40 rebound advantage for the Lakers.

Following the year off, Wallace has apparently gotten himself back into better shape and was able to catch the Lakers' eye with some solid play in a Pro-Am basketball tournament in North Carolina last year.

Wallace retired from basketball after the 2010 season and reportedly worked out a buyout plan with Celtics' GM Danny Ainge for around $1 million.

The Lakers do have an open spot on their bench, so adding Wallace would not force the team to move any other players on the roster.

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