The Curious Case Of Gerald Wallace

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A pre-emptive thanks to the thread jockey’s here at StR, who provided the inspiration (and much of the material) for the following post –

I’m not advocating for Wallace (not sure I want him to be honest), just pointing out that in any deal that the Kings could get significantly better in, there will be a lot of risk. - smgmatt

Conjecture is conjecture, and as of this moment that is all that the Brad Miller for Gerald Wallace trade talk is – conjecture. It has no more basis than the Miller to Chicago rumors, or the Douby to the Knicks rumors, or the Bibby to the Cavaliers rumors. It’s all a guess, a goof, a wish and a dream, up until the time that Geoff Petrie determines that he has the right deal in his hands. Until then, it gives us something to think about, write about, debate about. It takes our minds off of double digit losses and injured key players.

But the Gerald Wallace talk is different, because Gerald Wallace himself is…different. He was drafted a Sacramento King, but his greatest accomplishment here was a runner up finish in a slam dunk contest. Wallace sounded like Barry White but shot it like Betty White while he was here, and he wrapped up his three years in Sacramento averaging about 3 pts. and 2 boards per game, mired behind wing players named Peja Stojakovic, Doug Christie, Hedo Turkoglu, Jim Jackson, Anthony Peeler. He ranked 10th/11th/11th in minutes over his three year stay, the bi-product of being a project player on a championship contending team.

The Kings lost in the 2004 Western Conference semi-finals to the Minnesota Timberwolves 3 games to 4, with three of those losses coming by four points or less. With that as a backdrop, the Kings decided to protect the core rotation and expose Wallace in the 2004 expansion draft. It did not take Charlotte long to determine that they had the time to develop a project player, and they snatched Wallace up.

Guys, Wallace is very versatile…I can say with certainty that Wallace would average 18/8/4/2/2 without taking away from any other players. – Doubl3Dos3

Tossing out G-Dub’s first year in Charlotte, he has gone on to average 17.5 pts. on 12.8 shots, 7.0 rebs., 2.2 stls., and 1.2 blks. over the past 3+ years. His assist/turnover ratio is about 1/1. For comparison sake, John Salmons this year is at 19.9 on 14.9/3.6/1.1/0.2, with about a 3/2 assist to turnover ratio. Wallace is a versatile baseline to baseline player, though one could question why a high flyer feels the need to toss up two 3-pointers per game when he barely averages 30% from the arc lifetime.

Remember the chants of “Wallace” @ ARCO? Reminded me of a scene from Braveheart. – avishai

This is what makes Wallace so different from (say) Tyrus Thomas. The ability to reminisce, even if there is little to reminisce about. How can we really applaud GP for the prudent selection of Wallace (selected with the 25th pick of the 2001 draft) if we never benefited from it? Bring the kid back, so that we may drink from the chalice that is the brilliance of Geoff Petrie. Have (some of us) ever pined for a player this way? We may miss a guy like Hedo a little, but he did contribute here before leaving via a trade that made sense for the franchise at the time, netting us the 2nd coming of Vlade in Brad Miller at the time. Wallace is different, the opportunity to cash a long misplaced check.

People who suffer concussions become more susceptible to them, and each one creates a greater possibility of doing real damage. – Mucho Moss

Gerald Wallace has missed 12, 27, 10 and 20 games over the past four years, plus another four so far this year. That’s about 21% games missed. As a member of a fan base that has seen their past and present crushed by injuries, it has to make one nervous to bank its future on such an injury prone player. This in no way is to label Wallace as soft, as that is in no way, shape or form the case. It is his style of play that makes him a high injury risk, and if you change that style of play, you change Gerald Wallace, and not for the better.

Cap space is flexibility. – High Tops                                      

G-Dub is not really going to make the Kings that much better. Donté Greene? Now let’s have a conversation about that cat first (You know, since, like, the Kings already have him on the roster?). - pookeyguru

The acquisition of Wallace and his salary probably takes you out of the Carlos Boozer sweepstakes next year, but it would set you up pretty good at the wings for next few years, with Wallace, Martin, Garcia and Greene making a combined $29 million in 2011-12. That does leave you some coin to spend up front or at PG. On the other hand, do you want to commit that kind of cash to Wallace (even with him being a fair to good value) when your deepest talent lies at the wings and your roster needs help everywhere else?

Wallace is a tremendously entertaining and talented player, but I wouldn’t have signed him to a 4 year, $40 million deal before this season. I won’t be pissed if Petrie trades for him, but I wouldn’t make that trade myself. - Carl

Rec’d! Carl’s comments mirror how I felt when we made the Artest for Peja deal. I wouldn’t have done it, but I wasn’t pissed at the deal and I supported it almost immediately. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? And Gerald Wallace risk is not Ron Artest risk (kind of like going into the pool less than 30 minutes after eating is less risky than surfing in shark infested waters). I do not advocate the Miller for Wallace trade, nor do I detest it.

To recap, this is the third post (including fanshot) on a deal that will most likely never happen. But I found the back story here fascinating and the thread comments inspired. It is a microcosm of what makes being a Kings fan so special/great/painful/torturous/unique.


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