Rasheed Wallace goes to the Boston Celtics to presumably be their 6th man. His contract is 3 years for the full MLE starting at 5.8 million (3rd year is a player option he almost certainly exercises at age 37).
I liked this move a lot more when it was a 2 year deal, as Sheed will surely be an overpaid Robert Horry at that point (of course, they can probably send his expiring deal off at that point, and really, the important thing is that they have him NOW as this team is built for NOW).
So let's look at where Sheed fits in the Boston frontcourt after starting at C the last few years in Detroit.
Talentwise, Sheed appears to be an upgrade over Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis. The injury to Leon Powe made bringing in another frontcourt player a must for Boston to have any chance at a championship next season. Big Baby Davis is still drawing interest as a free agent, although Danny Ainge has stated he wants to bring him back. If he does return he'd likely go back to the 10 mpg role he had before KG went down. This isn't the stacked frontcourt it's made out to be, as it is still heavily dependant on KG's return to form (25.3 PER in 2008).
Sheed doesn't get many points at the line as he has strayed further from the post with every passing season. And while he is among the better 3pt shooting centers in the league, he's only average for an NBA player with 35% the last four seasons. Of course, Glen Davis doesn't even have legit 3pt range yet, and isn't much of a finisher in the post either, so Sheed shouldn't exactly feel threatened. The Celtics could use another bruising presence inside to replace Powe, and while Sheed ain't it, BBD definitely ain't either.
Offensive rebounding has never been Sheed's strongest suit, which is a bit concerning because it hasn't really been Garnett's either. KG's 5.6 may have been due to injury, but his 7.3 the year prior was also a career worst. He is definitely trending down as he spends more and more time away from the basket, a problem also compounded by Sheed settling for more and more threes. Perkins should maintain his starting spot for this reason. And yeah, losing Powe really hurts. This area is probably the main incentive to keeping Davis around, because replacing Powe will be very difficult.
Sheed's numbers can probably be expected to drop a bit considering he'll be playing next to KG or Perkins most of the time, but at the very least he's as good as Perk, which makes this trio very solid on the defensive boards. And man, I really can't overstate how overrated BBD got filling in for KG. He's sandwiched between PGs Rondo (13.9) and Eddie House (11.5), which is not good when you're a PF/C.
Yet another reason why Perk should continue to start over Sheed. And another example of how limited BBD is as a player and why the Celtics won't miss him if he does indeed move on (if another team is stupid enough to offer him the full MLE, by all means, let him walk).
This is a solid signing for Boston that certainly fills a need. A healthy Kevin Garnett negates it's importance somewhat, but his health is no guarantee either. In a perfect world, the Celtics would let BBD walk and bring in Brandon Bass to replace him, but that's a pipe dream with only the bi-annual exception to offer (which they are already begging Grant Hill to take). Sheed won't contend for sixth man of the year, and may not even be the 4th option in some Boston lineups. He is a great defensive player joining a great defensive team. He is also a jumpshot dependant player like everyone else on the team not named Rajon or Kendrick. But regardless of his pros and cons, whether you like or dislike him, the most important thing he does in Boston is ensure Brian Scalabrine never plays another meaningful playoff minute again. Which is a good thing when you're trying to bring home that ring.