Gerald Wallace to New Jersey Nets: Why Wallace Will Flourish in New Role

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIMarch 15, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 08:  Gerald Wallace #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives by LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena on March 8, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the New Jersey Nets were engaged in serious discussions to acquire Gerald Wallace. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the two teams have reached a preliminary agreement to send Crash to the Prudential Center.

In return for Gerald Wallace, the New Jersey Nets are poised to send the expiring contracts of Mehmet Okur, either Shawne Williams or Johan Petro and a protected first-round draft choice. 

For Wallace, Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets, this could be a move that sends them back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Despite starting the season at a dismal 15-29, the Nets remain just four-and-a-half games behind the eighth place Milwaukee Bucks. With the Nets' next six games including showdowns with New Orleans, Washington and Charlotte, it's starting to look like that deficit could be closed relatively quickly.

The deciding factor in each of those games will be how quickly Wallace adjusts to his new role on his new team.

For those worrisome Nets fans who don't know how Wallace will fit in, don't worry.

Once you see Gerald Green and Gerald Wallace running alongside each other in transition you'll be thrilled. Once you see Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries close in on a defender, you'll become a believer. Once you see Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace in crunch time, you'll realize that this team can go pretty damn far.

Going off of the assumption that Gerald Wallace will become the Nets' starting small forward, New Jersey will instantly become a better defensive unit. Wallace is a skilled shot-blocker and a dominant rebounder. He also always seems to find his way into the passing lanes.

He's the perfect complement to rookie scorer MarShon Brooks on the perimeter.

The most important role he will play, however, is that of Deron Williams' right hand man. Williams has long needed a secondary scorer, and more importantly, another reliable player in the clutch. As Gerald Wallace displayed as the Bobcats' franchise player, he can be clutch.

All-embracing, Gerald Wallace is a perfect fit for the New Jersey Nets. His combination of defensive prowess, offensive intelligence and undervalued leadership is exactly what the Nets need to turn their season around.