Since trading away the major core of the Boston Celtics, GM Danny Ainge has composed a move that served as confusion for a great deal of fans. The entire package for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry was in exchange for the Brooklyn Nets‘ Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, Marshon Brooks and some future draft picks as well.
Oh, ad Gerald Wallace.
The odd part of the deal is, I’m not hearing complaints about acquiring Brooks. No one is calling for Ainge’s job over the addition of Bogans. While there are some negative reactions over Humphries, some fans have reconciled his negative, off the court reputation with his rebounding ability and gotten over it. However, there is one new Celtics player that is unanimously held in disdain by fans, analysts and, allegedly, Celtics brass. Everyone’s favorite forward: Gerald Wallace.
Seemingly the biggest problem is an already unloved trade, Wallace could be the first to go via trade, or release if Boston is unable to find a trade partner. He seems to be a poor fit with the Celtics overall, and there has been no comment from any management on his role with the team moving forward. In fact, since the deal went through, numerous reports have surfaced that the Celtics are looking to be rid of the former Net in exchange for almost anyone.
Still, the Celtics giving Wallace the bum’s rush through Boston can’t help but make me question the reasoning behind it. Wallace isn’t an All-Star by any stretch of the imagination, and his past relationship with the Celtics is rocky at best, but surely a veteran rebounding machine with a decent defensive presence could find a home on the rebuilding Celtics.
The first issue with Wallace is his contract. Considered by some to be one of the more overpaid players in basketball, Wallace represents a problem for the Celtics moving forward, as he is essentially chained to any team he ends up with. It was surprising that the Nets managed to get rid of him to begin with, and it would do the Celtics good to keep themselves from paying so much for a player that won’t do them a great amount of good.
Secondly, Wallace is 31 years old. While 31 is far from Garnett’s age, it would make Wallace the odd man out as the Celtics begin to look to a youth-fueled movement for the future. To make matters worse, forwards in general, especially those with the physical style of Wallace, tend to be injury prone. Jeff Green will be more likely to take the starting role as the forward, and I can’t imagine Wallace getting a lot of playing time based on how much the current Boston team will rely on all things Green.
However, even with all of the issues Wallace brings to the table, he does have redeemable value. He has been in the league long enough to have solid experience without being the oldest guy on the floor at all times. Wallace has had a very solid field goal percentage throughout his time in the league, and when given the minutes to do so, had little problem grabbing boards and shooting at a good clip, even averaging an 18-and-10 double a few seasons ago. Despite his hang-ups, Wallace is a good player and Ainge will most likely use that to his advantage.
Essentially, we shouldn’t be surprised that Ainge is looking to move Wallace out of Boston as soon as possible. The thing fans need to remember is that it isn’t because he isn’t a good player, he just isn’t the best possible fit for the Celtics. The only reason it’s being discussed is because there’s no need to panic if Wallace should stay in a Celtics uniform. Sure, Boston could do better, but they could do a lot worse too.