The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly made a critical move in attempting to re-sign All-Star point guard Deron Williams by signing veteran small forward Gerald Wallace to a four-year, $40 million deal, according to Yahoo! Sports NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski:
The Nets have reached agreement on a 4 year, $40 million contract with Gerald Wallace, league sources confirm. NY Post first reported.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2012
What It Means
The Brooklyn Nets now have at least one attractive piece locked into a long-term deal with Wallace now on board. The 29-year-old led the team in steals (1.5 SPG) and averaged 15.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in 16 games with the Nets last season, after coming over from Portland in a midseason trade.
Brooklyn is likely hoping that signing Wallace will entice Williams to stay loyal and re-sign this summer instead of leaving for a contender like the Dallas Mavericks. Although Wallace isn't a superstar comparable to Orlando's Dwight Howard, he is a consistent contributor who averaged close to 20 points per game with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2007-08.
What Happens Next
Brooklyn now has a capable scorer and rebounder to help them in their pursuit of getting back to the NBA playoffs next season. Wallace averaged a career-high 10.1 rebounds per game just three seasons ago in Charlotte and can provide a lift on the defensive end as a crafty veteran defender.
In the end, though, the Brooklyn Nets' future will hinge on Williams' decision, not whether or not Wallace is locked into a long-term contract. Brooklyn did the right thing to remain competitive by signing Wallace, but if it wants to re-sign its franchise floor general, the team will need to go after more firepower and show Williams it is dead set on acquiring Howard this summer.
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