6. Rasheed Wallace
Wallace was a four-time All-Star and a key role player on the Pistons 2004 championship team. The 6’11 big man was known for his heart and passion on the floor. Sheed wanted to win and was willing to do whatever it took to make it happen.
His final All-Star appearance came in 2008, but he was a productive starter into his mid-30s. The Celtics signed the 34-year-old to a three-year $18.9 million contract in 2009. They won the title in 2008 and hoped Wallace could help them get back there after a disappointing second-round playoff exit.
Sheed came off the bench behind Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins and did not make the same impact. His minutes and shooting percentages dipped. Wallace struggled with weight issues and missed assignments. Boston made the NBA Finals, but it turned into Sheed’s only season with the team. He retired for two seasons before coming back for a cameo with the Knicks during the 2012-13 campaign.
The Boston Celtics did not get prime Rasheed Wallace. They signed him a bit late in his career, and the 35-year-old failed to deliver massive production. The Celtics got to the NBA Finals, but could not defeat Kobe Bryant and the rival Lakers. If Boston got just a bit more from Wallace or any player, it may have been the difference in the seven-game series.