March 31, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; New Jersey Nets forward Gerald Wallace (45) intercepts a pass downcourt against the Sacramento Kings in the third quarter at the Power Balance Pavilion. The Nets defeated the Kings 111-99. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Gerald Wallace Signs 4-Year, $40 Million Contract To Stay With Nets

Gerald Wallace will remain with the Brooklyn Nets, signing a four-year, $40 million deal to stick around.

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Gerald Wallace Deal Is Rich, But Unavoidable And Possibly Smart For Nets

The Brooklyn Nets could not get away with losing Gerald Wallace unless everything happened so quickly at the start of free agency that the team was ready to compete without him. Things appeared to be happening quickly, but when the clock struck Free Agency, Brooklyn didn't have a commitment from Deron Williams, didn't have a trade for Dwight Howard or Joe Johnson and didn't have a bead on any other free agents. They couldn't wait for Williams; inactivity would be a risk when it came to keeping Deron.

So the Nets locked up Wallace quickly at four years, $40 million. Some folks will grouse about the length of the deal, which is fair. Some will ask who else would have offered that much money for an aging athlete who has been drifting from his peak. That's fair, too. But the Nets truly were bidding against themselves. When they traded their first-round pick (No. 6, in the end) for Wallace at the deadline, knowing he would likely opt out at year's end, they guaranteed they'd pay him more than anyone else in free agency. That was a part of the deal. This decision was made long ago.

And Wallace is still a very good player; I surmise he'll be underpaid or fairly paid next season at $10 million. The fear is that he'll fall apart in time and not be worth it by, say, 2014-15. But this isn't an Amar'e Stoudemire/Joe Johnson contract -- a $20 million monster of a deal that will be extremely painful to work around or move. This is about $10 million, or slightly above the average starter's salary. If by the end of the deal Wallace is a barely suitable starter? He's only overpaid by about 50 percent or so. In the meantime, you get a fairly paid above-average player.

There will be plenty of deals to lampoon over the next couple of weeks. Save your ire for them. This isn't a bad deal for the Nets.

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Nets, Gerald Wallace Agree On 4-Year, $40 Million Deal, According To Report

Gerald Wallace has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal worth $40 million with the Brooklyn Nets, according to Fred Kerber of the New York Post. ESPN's Marc Stein reportedly early Sunday that a deal between the small forward and team was on track. The Nets traded their first-round pick (which ended up being Damian Lillard) to the Portland Trail Blazers for Wallace at the deadline. Crash opted out of the final year of his contract, and will now get paid more, assuming the report is accurate.

The Nets have any number of other irons in the fire, including reported talks involving Joe Johnson, Luis Scola and O.J. Mayo. Dwight Howard has also renewed his request to be traded to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn is also waiting on a decision from free agent point guard Deron Williams, who will reportedly decide between the Nets and the Dallas Mavericks in the coming days.

For more on the Nets, visit NetsDaily and SB Nation New York.

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NBA Free Agency 2012: Gerald Wallace To Opt Out Of Contract

The New Jersey Nets took a pretty big gamble at the NBA trade deadline this year, acquiring Gerald Wallace in exchange for their 1st round pick. The risk probably didn't play out exactly how the Nets wanted to, as Wallace has elected to opt out of the last season of his contract.

Wallace had a sixth year left on his contract that would have paid him $9.5 million for the 2012-13 season, but he decided that he'd rather return to the open market. That does not mean that Wallace is necessarily signing elsewhere, though -- just that it will likely cost the Nets more than it would have prior to his opting out.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this, because had the Nets not made the trade (they were essentially out of the postseason running when the acquisition occurred), Brooklyn would own the sixth overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

For more on the Nets, be sure to check Nets Daily. For more on professional basketball in general, visit SB Nation's NBA page.

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