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Gerald Wallace to opt out with Nets, become free agent

Gerald Wallace

New Jersey Nets’ Gerald Wallace’s hair moves as he goes up for a shot in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


So you traded the No. 6 overall pick in this draft for...

Gerald Wallace. At the trade deadline the Nets gave up what became the No. 6 pick in the deepest draft in years to Portland for Wallace. The same Wallace who had a player option for next season.

He confirmed what we all expected, he is opting out, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Wallace was due to make $9.5 million next season but is clearly seeking both a larger payday and some long term stability.

Wallace scored 15.2 points per game for the Nets, but wasn’t as efficient as he had been — he shot 41.6 percent with the Nets, well off his 47.3 percent career average. But he can defend, score in transition, put up points — he’s a solid all-around No. 2.

This is not a surprise, not to the Nets or anyone else. He wants stability. My guess is that the Nets will keep him with a new, longer-term deal. They need to or they threw away the No. 6 pick (and frankly they never should have made the trade in the first place, bad rebuilding.) He alone is not keeping Deron Williams in Brooklyn, but Wallace is the kind of building block teams can use.