Portland Trail Blazers: How would Rasheed Wallace have fared in the modern NBA?

Rasheed Wallace, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Rasheed Wallace, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Rasheed Wallace
Rasheed Wallace, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo credit should read DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

The case against  Wallace being better in the modern NBA:

On the flip side, maybe not. Understanding who Rasheed Wallace was as a person, perhaps he’d have had an issue sacrificing post-ups for that many spot-up three pointers. If there’s one prevailing thought of his legacy, is that he’s a nonconformist; he walks to the beat of his own drum.

On paper, it looks like more possessions means he takes more 3-point attempts, or more shots in general. Teammates have long stood to the notion that Wallace is team-first, sometimes too team-first. Here’s how Richard Hamilton described him right before that Game 4 in 2004.

"“He’s been great. He does so many great things for the team, especially defensively. He might be too unselfish. I just know we need to give her the ball more.”"

There are other times, too. With all the marbles on the line in the 2005 NBA Finals, Pistons’ president Joe Dumars had to remind him to shoot. In Portland, he was force-fed, in hopes that he would fall in love with the allure of 20-point games (something he never averaged).

We’ll also never really know how Rasheed Wallace’s prime would’ve gone as a stretch-five. In Portland, he only did so five percent of the time, despite being one of the more underrated defensive anchors of his time.

In Detroit, for example, after Ben Wallace left, he was a +14.4 at center, but did so for only six percent of the season. In Boston, he was a -14.7 per Cleaning the Glass. So, it’s a mixed bag.

My best estimate? Great players find ways to produce in almost any situation, and it feels as though it’d certainly have played itself out in that manner here, too. In my eyes, Wallace’s numbers see slight jumps to say, 20 and 8, with an additional two or three All-Star appearances.

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Throw that to his legacy in a different world, and all of a sudden, maybe Rasheed Wallace is writing up a speech for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame — and more likely than not, getting ejected from that, too.