Apr 23, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Nets small forward Gerald Wallace (45) works the base line against Philadelphia 76ers small forward Andre Iguodala (9) at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Depending on what the Washington Wizards do with Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis, they could have around $12 million of salary-cap space to spend this summer. It remains to be seen if the Wizards actually use it or bank it towards the 2013 class, but in any event, there are a number of free agents that could help the team's push into playoff contention. We'll take a look at several of those options in this running series. Next up: Gerald Wallace.
Type: Early-Termination Option.
This past year: Started to finally show his age a bit. Began the season well with the Portland Trail Blazers as they tried to become a more up-tempo team, but then started to fall off once that experiment failed. Was traded to the New Jersey Nets at midseason and did not really fit in all that well. Played alright, but with the Nets' system so much in flux, he struggled.
Why he's fit in well: He's a really good fit on an up-tempo team because of his ability to fill the lane and rebound. He's the rare player that can board and still get out on the break. Most wings can do one or the other, but Wallace is smart enough to do both. He's also still a very good defensive player.
Why he might not: He remains a poor shooter, and in half-court sets, he's increasingly becoming a bit of a liability. The Blazers stationed him uselessly in the corner a lot, and the Nets did the same. He has become better at putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim, but he'd be better on a team that had the deep shooters at power forward to let him post up.
Likely price tag: I could see him taking the mid-level to join a contender, and I can see him taking more than that to stay with the Nets.
Verdict: Too old and too expensive. Wallace would have been unbelievable if the Wizards were getting the Wallace from two years ago, but they're not. Better for the Wizards develop the guy they hope is the next Gerald Wallace (Jan Vesely) than sign the actual Gerald Wallace
UPDATE: And yeah, also what happened in 2007.