30 NBA players that got better after leaving their first team

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Rasheed Wallace
Rasheed Wallace (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

30 NBA players who got better after leaving their first team: 7. Rasheed Wallace

Rasheed Wallace is not for everyone. He had a hot temper and accumulated far too many technical fouls for many fans and coaches liking. Wallace was also far ahead of his time and would have succeeded in any era due to his unique mixture of skill and work ethic.

Wallace was solid as a rookie putting up averages of 10.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game but nothing spectacular. After just one season with the Washington Bullets, he was traded across the country to the Portland Trail Blazers. It did not take Wallace long to thrive in his new home. Wallace made two All-Star appearances in eight seasons in Portland. The Blazers were solid during his tenure but never fully got over the hump. Wallace was extremely efficient shooting the ball and also at racking up technical fouls, including 78 in two seasons.

After his time in Portland hit a rough patch, Wallace was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for one memorable game before being shipped off to the Detroit Pistons and the rest is history. Wallace made two more All-Star games in Detroit and was the final piece of the championship puzzle for the Pistons. We laid out the history of that team earlier with Ben Wallace but Rasheed was a different kind of player.

Yes, he was also an elite defensive forward but also added floor spacing (34.8 percent on 4.2 3-point attempts per game while in Detroit). He overflowed with personality, versatility and dependability when not catching technicals. Wallace would finish his career with a title chase on the Boston Celtics (falling in the Finals in 2010) and one last gasp with the New York Knicks after being retired for two seasons.