So I'm watching last night's Bulls - Nets playoff match-up and I see this:
I mean, Gerald Wallace made the follow-up, but yeah, the air-balled lay-up might be a pretty apt summary for the way his playoffs have gone so far.
Wallace is averaging 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game through six playoff games against the Bulls, not awful numbers, but hardly what you'd want from someone being paid about $10 Million this season...
...oh. And for the next three seasons after this one too.
Wallace's playoff numbers are actually an increase over a pretty horrid regular season which saw him shoot 40 per cent from the field, 28 per cent from beyond the arc, and 64 per cent from the free-throw line, and resulted in this paragraph from Grantland's Zach Lowe:
Wallace has bordered on being a non-entity this season, which is a problem, since the Nets surrendered a lottery pick to get him and then agreed to pay him $40 million over four seasons. He barely shoots anymore, and when he does, he usually misses. Teams ignore him to cramp Brooklyn's spacing, one reason an offense-first team has seen its offense fall out of the top 10 in points per possession. He's rebounding at career-worst levels, and though he's a solid defender, he's slipping on that end, too. He and Deron Williams, who just underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy on both ankles, have miscommunicated often on weakside pick-and-roll rotations.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Just two seasons ago many of us here at the HQ, myself included, were advocating a move to get Wallace, a lock-down defender who was one of the most productive players in the league despite not being featured prominently in his team's offences.
But as many have noted, Wallace now looks like a shell of his former self, becoming another example of how NBA players who rely heavily on their athletic ability to be productive, become a major risk after 30.
So as I watched Wallace airball a lay-up and continue to be ignored by the Bulls defense, I contemplated how much of an albatross his contract now was to the Nets, and how on earth they would ever move that deal in the next couple years. Remember, Brooklyn is capped out with little room to improve their team, so at some point they'll need to move guys like Wallace and Kris Humphries. They may barely squeak by a completely devastated Bulls squad, so hardly look like championship contenders at present.
Of course our Toronto Raptors have a similar situation on their hands so I got thinking:
"Toronto Raptors' fans want Andrea Bargnani gone at almost any cost, but would they do a Bargs for Wallace swap?"
I've got the poll question below so would love some thoughts on this as I'm guessing this is likely the type of deal Bryan Colangelo (or whoever replaces him) will be offered this summer.
Sort of a "sure I'll take that broken CD player off your hands! But you'll have to take this 1976 Baycrest 52 inch tube television off mine" type of deal.
And I'm not sure if I'd do it.
Much like the Carlos Boozer situation, at face value yes, I'd make the swap, but Wallace has an extra year and $10 million on his deal than Bargs, and it doesn't appear to be a team option.
That's a lot of scrilla for someone already on a major decline.
However if you are of the fundamental belief that Bargnani is a net negative the minute he steps on the floor, then by default, trading him for Wallace would have to be an upgrade would it not?
Some food for thought this Friday.