I know I'm in the minority here but I think people are coming to conclusions way too quickly. Just about everyone here is on one side of the fence or the other already. And I know that's our role as fans, but I say hold on before coming to any conclusions.
There are certainly times on be on one of the fence or the other and be confident you're on the right side. Had we traded for Dwight Howard, we'd have reason to smile and the Magic would have reason to frown. In the case of Gerald Wallace for our first round pick, no one can tell except time itself.
To start with, I shouldn't say just Gerald Wallace for our first round pick. We also gained freedom from Shawne Williams' contract next year. Other than that, I don't see New Jersey or Portland valuing Okur or Williams as players in their plan. So those three assets involved in the deal lead me to my argument - all three assets are question marks.
Starting with Gerald Wallace, it remains to be seen how valuable he'll be. It was less than a year ago that he was motivated leaving Charlotte and played like an All-Star down the stretch for Portland. This year he has been less effective for various reasons. For one, the team is not in the hunt to make the playoffs. Secondly, the coaching staff wasn't seeing eye to eye with the team, including Wallace. But most importantly, Wallace was playing with a different distributor. Raymond Felton has not been himself this year and a distributor is the last thing you'll refer to Jamal Crawford as.
So how does he fit in to the Nets, you ask? He'll surely be splitting time at the SF and PF spots. He now allows MarShon Brooks to play the SG more. And if you don't know how critical that is you need to go check his stats at 82games.com. His ability to defend and play in transition should shock no one. The big question mark will be in the half court offense, as his lack of a jump shot will not help us out. Having never played with a great PG, we really don't know what to expect out of Wallace. It could be as bad as "maybe Gerald Green should be starting" to as good as us making the playoffs with him shutting down LeBron in the first round. So I'll wait to judge him in a Nets uniform until after this season. Some people are concerned he'll opt out. And I think the only way that happens is if he finishes strong...which would probably lead to us making the playoffs where anything can happen.
The Nets first round draft pick looked to be a valuable asset entering the trade deadline. As it turns out, the Nets didn't value it so highly. But a lot of time and decision making stand between now and the draft. Everyone assumes that the talent in college will all enter the draft - such is never the case. And although I have my opinions on which college players can play ball and which ones are overrated, I won't bring that up here. The only sure thing about draft day is there will be uncertainty. We don't know when we would pick. We don't know who will be available at that pick. We don't know if we'll get the Houston pick. So it's hard to say.
As of the latest NBADraft.net mock, Harrison Barnes is listed at #4. And Tyler Zeller is listed at #15, the spot we'd pick from if we made the playoffs. Obviously there is a dramatic difference between the two and that's the calculated risk Billy saw if making the move.
Finally, and not to be overlooked, ridding ourselves of Shawne Williams contract into next season. From my chair, it's hard to gauge how valuable that cap space will be. And once again, no one will know until it is put to use. If the estimated $8 million (from what I've read) that we'll have after taking care of Hump/Brook is put to good use this will be seen as another valuable part of the transaction. If we land a FA at a regrettable price, I'll long to have Shawne Williams back (as depressing as that may sound).
Overall I'm just reserving my judgments for at least 10 games to see how well Wallace is playing, 25 games to see if we made the playoffs, the lottery if we didn't, the draft to see who went in our original slot, and eventually the end of this offseason, as we won't know the outcome of this judgment until then. Although the theme has been "Win Now," I believe in the heads of our front office that meant "Win This Offseason."
Whether a win means re-signing Deron (who we are playing better basketball with him off the court and we should have traded away...but that's a whole other article) or pairing him up with Dwight, that's in the eyes of the beholder. But bottom line, don't be in such a hurry to judge this trade.