The Portland Trail Blazers are set to face the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Centers on Sunday (Dave's preview is here).
Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times' Off The Dribble blog writes that game is cause for the Nets to think hard about their trade for forward Gerald Wallace last season, a move that sent the Blazers a No. 1 overall pick that wound up being used on 2013 Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard.
Gerald Wallace is a tenacious defender, a strong rebounder for his size and a known veteran quantity at forward. When the Nets acquired Wallace at the trading deadline last season, he was seen as a player capable of doing the dirty work that Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries were not known for. They will get a good look at the price they paid for his services, however, when the Portland Trail Blazers visit Brooklyn on Sunday.
Although Lillard plays the same position as Deron Williams, the Nets' unquestioned leader and best player, his scoring ability combined with his age and salary would have been an enticing package for Brooklyn, especially with Wallace having struggled to recover from an ankle injury sustained in the team's first game. The deal will look far worse for the Nets if Wallace does not recapture the abilities that made him a star in Charlotte and Portland.
The Nets signed Wallace to a four-year deal worth $40 million this summer. They signed Williams to a five-year deal worth $98 million this summer.
Wallace, 30, is averaging 7.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals in four appearances for Brooklyn.
Lillard, 22, is averaging 20.2 points, 6.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 12 games for Portland.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter