The New York Post reports and Yahoo Sports report that the Nets have reached a verbal agreement with forward Gerald Wallace to return on a 4-year, $40 million contract. It’s not known whether the last year is fully or partially guaranteed, but that issue is a big one for determining the value of the contract.
At $10 million per year, it’s a steep price, but considering it will help in convincing Deron Williams to return and provides them with a high quality player at the 3 spot, it’s pretty decent value. Now, Wallace turns 30 in July. Should the final year be guaranteed, paying him $10 million at age 34 considering how much of his game is predicated on athleticism, that’s going to get rough. But with the stretch provision available, there are options for the Nets. And if it’s a $10 million expiring, that’s not bad, either.
(Update: the NY Times reports that all four years are guaranteed. So barring Wallace out-performing a realistic career curve at age 34, the Nets will need either the stretch provision or a trade to alleviate him on their books in 2015-2016.
So the Nets have their first big landing in this total rebuilding project. The question is what the other big piece will be. Crash and Deron Williams isn’t enough. Will it be Joe Johnson? Dwight Howard?
One thing’s pretty clear. The Nets would not have done this deal had they not had high confidence that Deron Williams would re-sign. This was a move to talk Deron into staying, not a package deal, but not not a package deal. Should the Nets land Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, and Dwight Howard with Jason Kidd off the bench is a pretty great core.They still have to find the pieces to put around them, but the Nets are on their way to making a great splash in Brooklyn.