- Chad Ford, Senior Writer, NBA Insider
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Wallace signed a four-year contract from the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.
While the offer was first thought to be a four-year, $52 million deal, a source close to the negotiations has told ESPN.com that the deal is actually for four years and $60 million, with a starting salary of nearly $14 million a year.
Wallace made his decision to bolt the Pistons after a
face-to-face meeting with general manager John Paxson and coach
Scott Skiles. The Bulls, with room under the salary cap, also
offered more money.
"I wasn't going to leave Detroit to go to a team that wasn't
going to be a contender," Wallace said after he was introduced at
a news conference Thursday.
"I'm glad to be part of a young, scrappy team."
Wallace helped Detroit advance to four straight conference finals -- the first team to do so since the Bulls of the early 1990s.
The move will come as a shock to Pistons fans who thought the chances Wallace would bolt from Detroit were slim to none.
The Pistons came out of the gate offering Wallace a whopping four-year, $48 million deal, but they told the four-time defensive player of the year that it was their final offer.
"I appreciate everything Detroit did for me and my family," Wallace told the Detroit News on July 3, after agreeing to Chicago's offer. "They gave me an opportunity to
make a name for myself and we had an opportunity to win a championship together."
The signing clearly upgrades the Bulls' front court, albeit at an exorbitant price. The Bulls will have to use roughly $14 million of their projected $16.7 million in cap space to secure Wallace.
However, Wallace adds the veteran toughness and defensive presence the Bulls felt they lacked up front.
Wallace ranked fourth in the NBA last season in rebounding
(11.3), ninth in blocks (2.2) and 10th in steals (1.78) -- the only
player among the top 10 in all three categories.
The 31-year-old Wallace averaged 7.3 points this past season and
has not averaged double digits in any of his 10 years in the
league. Since beginning his career with the Washington Wizards, he
has averaged 6.6 points and made 42 percent of his free throws.
Asked what the problem was with his free throw shooting, Wallace
showed a sense of humor.
"I miss more than I make," he said.
The deal allowed the Bulls to agree to a trade with New Orleans sending Tyson Chandler to the Hornets for forward P.J. Brown and swingman J.R. Smith.
The move puts the Pistons in a difficult position.
They lose Wallace for nothing and don't have anything more than the $5.1 million mid-level exception to offer to potential replacements.
Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider. Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.
Ben Wallace has been the face of the Detroit Pistons the last six years. No more.