Brooklyn Nets: Gerald Wallace Reportedly Set to Become a Free Agent

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IJune 14, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 19:  Gerald Wallace #45 of the New Jersey Nets reacts againnst the Cleveland Cavaliers at Prudential Center on March 19, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  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 Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Gerald Wallace has reportedly made up his mind to decline his $9.5 million player option and become a free agent.

The explosive small forward started the season with the Portland Trail Blazers before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets before the deadline in exchange for a 2012 protected first-round draft pick, Shawne Williams and Mehmet Okur, who was later waived. 

Wallace was a key member of the Trail Blazers, averaging 13.3 points and 6.1 rebounds in 42 games, but was moved when the team decided to rebuild. 

With the Nets, Wallace appeared in 16 games and upped his averages to 15.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while providing a veteran presence on the floor and in the locker room.

Although injuries have been a big part of his NBA career thus far (most notably concussions), Wallace has found a way to continue playing hard every night. 

It appears that Wallace is ready to explore all of his options come free agency and will likely make a push for a multi-year contract. Without the concerns of an expiring contract, he would be able to dedicate all of his focus to the game of basketball. 

Wallace would be a great fit on a veteran team trying to make a run at a championship or on a young team in need of leadership in the locker room. Any team seeking a scoring boost and a versatile defender would be lucky to have him.  

Wallace has proven to be a consummate professional throughout his career, and that should make him a valuable commodity in the offseason.