As several Western Conference teams have grown weaker at the NBA Trade Deadline, the Portland Trail Blazers have decided to make a move. The Blazers are reportedly closing in on a deal to acquire forward Gerald Wallace from the Charlotte Bobcats, according to Portland-area reporter Dwight Jaynes.
It is not yet clear which players the Blazers will receive in return, but Jaynes reports that the Blazers will likely send back Joel Przybilla, draft picks and cash, though other pieces will have to be involved to make the trade legal. That other player will not be incumbent small forward Nicolas Batum, according to Jaynes.
The 28-year old Wallace has two years and $21 million remaining on his contract, but was an all-star last season and is averaging nearly 16 points and over eight rebounds a game this season.
The Blazers would seem to be an odd fit for Wallace, given that he plays the same position as Batum, but the hope would likely be that Wallace can play some power forward in smaller lineups. Wallace could also improve their perimeter defense and provide a slasher that gets into the paint for easy baskets. However, his shot attempts at the rim have fallen dramatically this season.
Przybilla has an expiring contract that would give Charlotte more payroll flexibility, but another piece likely has to be thrown in to make the salaries match.