Even though I really like Gerald Wallace, the Blazers seem to have gotten the better end of that deal. Right at the trade deadline, the Nets traded their first round pick in the upcoming draft to Portland in exchange for Wallace. It was a bold move, because they were doing it to try and retain Deron Williams. They might have lost the first of their NBA picks in the draft, as well as Williams.
Now the Blazers own the 6th and 11th pick in the draft. Wallace has a player option for $9.5 million for the upcoming season. If he opts out and becomes a free agent, the Nets have basically lost their 6th overall pick for absolutely nothing if he goes elsewhere. Not the way you want to start out your first season in a new city.
Wallace and Williams could both decide to stay or go, and the Nets not getting a pick they could dangle for Dwight Howard is a huge blow. The good news for the Nets is they have a lot of cap space, especially if Williams and Crash opt out of their deals. The Nets will only have $45 million on the books for next season if both stay, and only $17.7 million if they both go. Williams has a player option of $17.8 million.
It could be another ugly season for the Nets entering a new city, or it could be a really epic one. I could see the Nets trading to get a pick in this year’s first round, because teams like the Kings will be possibly looking to move their pick for the right price. The problem is I don’t know if the Nets have the pieces to pull that kind of a trade off.