With the news Gerald Wallace has opted out of his contract there is even further discussion directing blame on Billy King for what seems like an awful trade for the Nets. This discussion has been going back and forth since the trade was made, and has now passed through another stage gate of evaluation with this decision. It seems to make sense to take some of this debate out of the comment threads and into the FanPosts.
The trade can be further reviewed below.
ARGUMENTS STILL IN FAVOR OF THE DEAL:
Trade Exceptions and dumped contracts. Let's get clear on something. The Nets freed cap space up in this deal, and landed some valuable trade exceptions along with Gerald Wallace in this deal. These assets can be used to bring in additional talent.
With Wallace opting out of his contract, it's worth noting that he is now an unrestricted Free Agent. As an unrestricted Free Agent he can sign with any team, including the Nets. So it is important to note, that Gerald Wallace could still play next season in a Nets uniform. The Nets control his bird rights, which would allow them to add a fifth year to his contract. This is important. There are a lot of assumptions about Gerald Wallace's overall game, and how it's built on athleticism, and how that will be affected in future seasons. Wallace likely has 3 very good seasons left in the tank. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess. Maybe he's great. Maybe he isn't. But, if Wallace is still a great player at the age of 33, there is value in him. Having Wallace's Bird Rights allows the Nets to sign Wallace to a longer contract with less dollars per annual, that would allow for some cap flexibility. 3 years at $30 million or 5 years at $40 million? That extra two million could be put towards cleaning up the PF position while we're at it, or getting a decent back up Center. The simple fact is there are options out there. It's also possible that Wallace signs a 3 year $30 million dollar contract anyway, after determining what his market value is. The Nets didn't overpay to extend Wallace, so if they were offering Market value, which it appears they were, Wallace might decide to stay. If another team goes well beyond Market value to sign him, than he may be gone. There also is the potential for a sign and trade that bring the Nets some kind of value in return. (Perhaps Wallace goes to ATL, and the Nets S&T for Josh Smith and Marvin Williams).
Two final points. Wallace's preview of the Nets and NYC. Wallace is bullish on the Nets organization. This is an organization that he admitted he knew nothing about and was not at all considering prior to the trade. If the Nets land Wallace, it will only happen because this trade was made. This trade also showed the league and Deron Williams that the Nets were not a rebuilding team, despite their current roster. It showed the league that the Nets are looking to make an immediate competitive impact in this league. Without deals like this, and putting the Nets name out there, the Nets are not mentioned as a likely spot for names like Dwight Howard, AK-47, Teletovic, et al.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE DEAL:
The Nets gave up the 6th pick in the draft for a rental. The pick might have been higher than the 6th pick and could have even landed Anthony Davis. Chad Ford and ESPN hate the deal.
Ok to be honest, I really need help with the arguments against the deal, because none of them are really a true story yet. We don't know who we might have been able to land, so that's speculative. We don't know that Wallace, is in fact going to be playing for someone else in 2013. We don't know what compensation we might still get for Wallace. We don't know how bad this deal was, or if it ends up good.
I agree if Wallace signs elsewhere and the Nets get nothing for him, this was a bad trade. A top 10 pick is a valuable trade chip, or a valuable building block for the future. But, Gerald Wallace is strongly considering the Nets right now. He wouldn't be if we hadn't done this deal. He hasn't signed a bad contract with the Nets, or any contract with any other team. There aren't even rumors of interest in regards to him and other teams, so it's clear that the Nets have shown the most love to Wallace, which should count for something. Wallace might have opted out, for no other reason than to avoid being traded.
The moral of the story is, this deal may end up bad, and Wallace opting out was obviously not a step in the positive direction. But it is STILL way too early to cast a final judgement on this deal. If anyone feels differently, this is as good a place as any to debate this.