Apr 23, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Nets small forward Gerald Wallace (45) brings the ball up court during the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Prudential Center. Philadelphia 76ers defeat the New Jersey Nets 105-87. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
In comments to the media Friday, Gerald Wallace said he'd "love to stay" with the Nets, who have "great pieces" and that he feels good about the potential of the team if players are healthy as well as the potential of Brooklyn.
But Wallace said he's likely to opt out of his $9.5 million contract in hopes of getting a a four- or five-year contract that offers stability and place to call home. He turns 30 this summer.
Ben Couch reports that Wallace, who is from rural Alabama and only played in small markets, joked that he’s only been to New York City twice, on doctor’s appointments. Still, he'd like to stay, citing the Nets' "great pieces" when healthy. He also senses the excitement Brooklyn can bring.
"I was a part of Charlotte when (the expansion Bobcats) first got started," Wallace said. "Just the buzz and the atmosphere from the community around that was amazing, Brooklyn has never had a team. I can just imagine how excited and all of the buzz that’s going to be around that situation."
Williams said it's less about winning a championship now, more about progress towards one. "I know we might not win a championship in the first year or two, but hopefully there’s the chances of building something special and having flexibility and somewhere where I believe they’re headed in the right direction."
Williams also said market size is not as big a concern as some might think.
- Season Complete, NETS' Attention Turns to Brooklyn - Ben Couch - Nets Basketball
- Nets’ Brooklyn Lineup Is Full of Uncertainty - Jake Appleman - New York Times
Deron Williams says winning is most important factor in free agency - Colin Stephenson - Star-Ledger
- Deron not ruling out Nets return - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Deron Williams plans to make decision on returning to NJ Nets before 2012 Olympics - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets are still hoping Deron Williams is Brooklyn-bound - Andy Vasquez - The Record
Deron Williams ponders stay -- in Brooklyn - Roderick Boone - New York Newsday
- Deron Williams wants new deal before Olympics - AP
- Deron Williams wants to have deal in place before Olympics - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
Deron Williams seems open to staying with Nets - Sports Xchange