Five Reasons Why Gerald Wallace Trade to Nets Was a Good One
Gerald Wallace: Five Reason Why His Trade to Nets Was Actually a Good Acquisition
Ever since the Gerald Wallace Trade in the trade deadline was made, fans and analysts alike were scratching their heads on the sheer “stupidity” of the New Jersey Nets’ management. Some fans would even call the trade as one of the most lopsided trades in recent history. They would bash the Nets and the trade every chance they had and some Nets fans were furious that management would willingly give up what was a high profile prospect in what was supposed to be a stacked draft class.
For those who don’t remember, the trade in question was a trade between the Nets and the Portland Trailblazers, where the Trailblazers would give up Wallace for spare parts and a Top-3 protected pick. At the time, the trade was extremely questionable as Wallace was an expiring contract and in essence it was going to be a half-season rental for what would have been a premium pick.
At the deadline, the Nets was pushing for a third pick or higher, and with the arrival of Wallace, the Nets began to win more games and was pushed out of a top 3 pick. Fans bashed the Nets for missing out on the opportunity to get Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Thomas Robinson and others.
However, the new season is about to start and now that we see the completed roster the Nets have as training camp looms, I have five reasons why I believe the trade was actually the right decision moving forward.
FIVE: The Brooklyn Nets Now Have an Intriguing Team Moving into the New City.
The Nets always planned on making a big splash when they had their imminent transfer to Brooklyn. They were coming from years of mediocrity and they wanted to start fresh and cultivate a winning culture in Brooklyn.
The Nets had young pieces but they were mostly players that weren’t very good. If they went to Brooklyn in the 2012-13 season with a bad roster, then the New York media would eat them alive and they will have a hard time trying to capture a worthy market.
The Nets were doing whatever it took to gain notoriety in Brooklyn. New owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s mantra was to get fans from the New York Knicks and convert them to Brooklyn. It was certainly a bold move, but so far the Nets have successfully put publicity in the new brand and all they need to do now is to show what they can do on the court.
FOUR: The Brooklyn Nets Were Able to Sign Gerald Wallace Long Term.
In recent years, the Nets were unable to sign any worthwhile free agents. They lost out on Lebron James, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and any of the premier players in the last two free agent classes.
In the last two years, the only players they were able to sign were subpar players like Travis Outlaw, Jordan Farmar among others. It was obvious that the Prokhorov and JayZ partnership was so far failing and they were striking out on any of the players they wanted, which left them with second and third tier players that they had to overpay to sign with them.
Although Gerald Wallace was a free agent, it was unclear if he was willing to sign in Brooklyn if he wasn’t traded mid-season. Wallace was a small-town guy and didn’t really like the big city, and he was going to opt-in for the 2012-13 season with the Trailblazers if he was not traded. But ever since he was traded to New Jersey/Brooklyn, he understood what the team was going for and hence he accepted a long term extension with the team. Say what you will about Wallace’s weaknesses and apparent “decline”, but he was the first “major” player that the team signed.
THREE: The Nets Had to Create A Winning Team Before They Moved To Brooklyn.
This is connected to the fifth reason but the Brooklyn Nets needed to have a strong roster for their move to Brooklyn. Say what you will about Wallace but he was the domino that needed to fall so that the Nets could have a strong offseason.
The new look Nets is infinitely better than the 2011-12 version of it. The 2012 version was a 22 win team with very little chance of growth. But now, the Nets are intriguing and interesting and they could very easily win at least 40 games with the new roster.
Once again New Jersey/Brooklyn needed to make a big splash for their move to the new arena. The new arena that Prokhorov had built was a state of the art facility and was very expensive. If the Nets didn’t take advantage of the move with a strong team, then Prokhorov would risk an embarrassment of utter proportion and it would be very bad for the NBA.
TWO: Prokhorov Wanted to Have a Rivalry With New York.
Ever since Prokhorov bought the New Jersey Nets on May 11, 2010, he has had more than a passing interest in creating a rivalry with the Knicks. Prokhorov wanted Brooklyn to surpass New York as the “mecca of basketball” in New York. He wanted his team to be the team to regain the former glory New York lost in the 21st century.
This is important because we barely have any rivalries in the NBA. Back in the 90s, rivalries were what kept the NBA interesting and competitive. Now we barely see heated rivalries and when we do, it is usually squashed immediately following a playoff series loss or when players pair up to form “super-teams”. Now that we have two good teams in New York, it will spur excitement in a city that has been marred by disappointment ever since the Isiah Thomas era started in 2001.
You can say that Boston, Los Angeles and San Antonio are the premier organizations in the NBA, but to have two good teams in New York will only benefit the NBA, especially if there will be a genuine heat between the two teams.
ONE: Deron Williams Signed a Long Term Extension With the Nets.
You can say that Deron Williams signing a long term extension has more to do with the Joe Johnson trade than anything, but I believe that the sequence of events were what lead to Deron’s decision to re-sign.
Let’s not forget that Deron endorsed the Wallace trade in the first place. Now maybe giving power to your star player is bad, but if it helps in keeping him long term then I’m all for it. Wallace was the first player to sign an extension that allowed the Nets to have the offseason that they did. Without him signing, maybe the Nets don’t go after Joe Johnson and maybe Deron leaves.
Lastly, the Nets are looking to make a big splash when they arrive in Brooklyn, and they will not achieve that if they field rookies and young players once again. Short of maybe drafting Anthony Davis, there was no way that keeping the pick would help in Deron’s decision to stay. You can argue that the pick could’ve been used to acquire Dwight Howard, but again the Orlando Magic seemed adamant to trade him anywhere but the Nets, especially after the rumors flew out that the Nets contacted him "illegally".
In the end, the new look Nets look that much better than they were a year ago, and they will be fun to watch for the next three to four years. At the very least, Wallace should help form a pretty formidable starting five alongside Williams, Johnson, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez.