Is it time to take another look at the Gerald Wallace trade from last March 15, you know the one most fans slammed? There is no better time, not after Wallace played Sunday's game as if it were his last, willing the Nets back from 29 down with a performance that if it had resulted in a win would have been one of the greater ones in team history.
Say what you want about others --and there were few innocents in the Nets locker room-- Wallace deserved a standing ovation when it was over. Give credit where credit is due.
In 40 minutes of hard played basketball, Wallace scored 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting, grabbed 16 rebounds, handed out three assists and blocked one shot emphatically. Claims that his athleticism is in decline were once again belied by a dunk that said everything you need to know about his play.
So to review the trade that brought him (and eventually Reggie Evans) to the Nets, Brooklyn sent Mehmet Okur (expiring), Shawne Williams ($3.15 million in 2012-13), and top three protected pick (turned out to be #6) to Portland for Wallace and two trade exceptions, one for $3 million, the other for $1.3 million. The Nets used $1,622,617 of the larger exception to acquire Evans in a sign-and-trade for a swap of 2016 second rounders. That leaves $1,377,383 from the first TE and the full $1.3 million on the second. They expire on March 15.
Yes, the Blazers got a great player in Damian Lillard, but the Nets were unlikely to have taken him. They liked Thomas Robinson, who was gone at #5 but not Harrison Barnes. They got what they wanted: a pro's pro going into Brooklyn. Of course, they took a risk in that Wallace could opt out, and he did, but they always believed they were taking a calculated risk. Anyone who watched Wallace single-handedly try to bring the Nets back saw the risk was worth it.