Wallace Agrees to Keep Playing in Detroit

AP Sports Writer

The Pistons called a news conference for 11 a.m. EDT Friday to announce the signing of Rasheed Wallace, the unrestricted free agent forward who joined the team less than two months before their title run.

Two sources who spoke Wednesday to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity said the deal is worth $57 million over five years.

His statistics were not always impressive, but his impact almost always was after Detroit acquired him on Feb. 19 for reserves and two first-round picks.

The 6-foot-11, 230-pounder made a stingy defense one of the best in league history and an average offense better.

Wallace, who turns 30 on Sept. 17, averaged 16 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 blocks last season, his ninth in the NBA.

Wallace, who made $17 million last season, was acquired in a three-team deal to put the Pistons over the top.

And he did.

They were a good team without Wallace, ranking among the top teams in the Eastern Conference with a 34-22 record. They were 20-6 in the regular season and 16-7 in the playoffs after adding him.

The Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers in five games for their third title, and first since 1990.

Wallace will be one of five returning starters for the NBA champion Pistons. He will be backed up by Antonio McDyess, who was signed to replace Mehmet Okur.

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