Amidst all of the insanity that was the trade deadline yesterday the NJ Nets came out of the day with something they did not have all year. A “Small Forward” that can play defense with the best in the league and run the break with the ability to finish with Deron Williams running the show. That player is 29 year old Gerald Wallace previously of the Portland Trailblazers. Everyone from the Nets forums and Twitter went crazy when they heard King gave away the Nets 2012 1st Round draft pick (protected 1-3) but I see this as a win as the entire Dwight Howard saga was annoying and childish and King did what he had to do to get another quality player to go with his current All-Star at PG. I am not worried about the draft pick as once you get past the top 3 players that “will come out” the draft is not spectacular but indeed it is a good draft. The Nets still have Houton’s pick in the 2012 draft which is protectd but outside the Top 3 players there is NOT a franchise changing player on the board.
As Alex Raskin of the Wall Street Journal states perfectly………
All-Star point guard Deron Williams previously stated his intention to opt out of his contract and test the free agent market, and there’s a fear that, without Howard aboard, Williams could sign with his hometown Dallas Mavericks.
But just as he did at last year’s trade deadline when the Nets lost out on Carmelo Anthony only to acquire Williams, general manager Billy King made a bold decision, acquiring Portland Trail Blazers forward Gerald Wallace. The Nets surrendered their first-round pick (top-three protected), as well as injured forward Shawne Williams and center Mehmet Okur’s expiring contract.
Wallace, 29, is a former All-Star who has averaged 13.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for his career; and while he may not have the same appeal as Howard, he’s a step toward making the first season in Brooklyn a competitive one.
That’s significant because, league sources say, Williams’s desire to stay with the Nets wasn’t tied to Howard, but to the team’s chance of success.
Fortunately for King, the Nets likely have enough assets to build a winner.
First, the team has only around $24 million in salary commitments in 2012, assuming Wallace and point guard Jordan Farmar both pick up their player options. If the salary cap holds steady next season, that would give King around $35 million in cap space to re-sign Williams and center Brook Lopez—who has been plagued with injuries this season but led the team in scoring last year—with about $8 to $10 million left over to add free agents.
The Nets have the league’s second-highest scoring rookie in guard MarShon Brooks (13.7 ppg), another first-round pick (top-14 protected by the Houston Rockets) and something even better than the defending-champion Mavericks can offer: Brooklyn.
The team could have panicked and traded Williams upon hearing the news that Howard was staying in Orlando, but that would have been shortsighted for a franchise on the verge of this kind of opportunity.
Williams already endorses several companies including Audi and MetroPCS—a Barclays Center sponsor—and he says advertisers are definitely “excited” about his potential presence in Brooklyn.
“I just think the market is going to be great,” Williams said of Brooklyn. “(Advertisers) see the buzz around the new arena. The fans are excited about coming to the borough. I think everybody is trying to get a head start on that.”
As Brett Yormark, Barclays Center and Nets CEO, points out, the Brooklyn Nets can provide an international marketing platform for three reasons: Brooklyn is already global (“I go to China and I see people wearing it across their cap”); the naming rights sponsor, British banking giant Barclays, is a “global influence;” and team owner and Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov is already an international icon.
Bottom Line – Deron Wiliams WILL be in Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Nets next year! (in my humble opinion)