NBA Trades: Gerald Wallace Heads To Portland, Giving Charlotte High Marks

Trade specifics: Portland Trail Blazers acquire Gerald Wallace and Sean Marks; Charlotte Bobcats acquire Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, 2011 first-round pick initially acquired from New Orleans (top-seven protected) and a 2013 first-round pick (top-12 protected)

Portland Trail Blazers: I may be in the minority here, but I'm not wild about this move for the Blazers. Wallace is a very good player that needed to be on a good team after being lost in Charlotte for so many years. His presence will no doubt improve the Blazers, and they were correct to be buyers instead of sellers.

But I don't think Wallace is a particularly good fit for them. Rob Mahoney captured many of my thoughts here, but I don't see where he plays. He's better as a small forward, but with the presence of Nicolas Batum, he'll have to play a lot at power forward ... which would force LaMarcus Aldridge to center ... which would remove a lot of Marcus Camby's minutes ... which would hurt Portland's interior defense. It's interesting for a fantasy team, but in reality, it's going to be tough to find minutes for all these players. 

The other thing is that Wallace isn't the player he once was, at least this season. His rebounding is down. His shot attempts at the rim are down. His scoring efficiency is way down. Maybe it's a one-year trend, or maybe, after years of throwing his body around and suffering a number of injuries, Wallace is finally starting to decline. If so, the price tag acquired to get him -- a couple mid-first round picks and two important frontcourt reserves -- suddenly looks a lot worse.

I'd like this trade better if Portland got a better fit for what they needed, but I can't help but think Wallace is the wrong guy for them. Grade: C

Charlotte Bobcats: It's about time they finally took steps to rebuild instead of spinning their wheels toward another first-round rout at best. Wallace was a fan favorite, but you have to start somewhere. The two picks are decent assets, and the Bobcats trim salary too. Next step: move Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw. You could argue that those two are more important players to send away in a salary dump, but if there were no offers there, you deal the guy who may at least have some value and go from there. Grade: B+

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