HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The Portland Trail Blazers got the No. 6 pick in the Draft (point guard Damian Lillard) in that trade with the New Jersey Nets last season for Gerald Wallace. And now Wallace is closing in on his prize, a reported $40 million from the Brooklyn Nets.
The deal for Wallace was expected when he opted out of the final year of his deal last to become a free agent, with the express intent of signing a new deal to remain with the Nets.
This is just one of the many moves expected from the Nets, who are still hunting the biggest fish of the free agent season in Deron Williams. Things are just getting started for Nets general manager Billy King, as the New York Post reported:
Though Williams is the most important player in the Nets plans this summer, King has plenty of other work to do. The Nets entered free agency with six players on their roster for next season and roughly $40 million in salary-cap space.
Among the other Nets who will test free agency are Gerald Wallace, an unrestricted free agent after turning down his player option, and restricted free agent Brook Lopez, who is a lock to return unless he’s involved in sign-and-trade deal.
The Nets also have to address their power forward spot, where incumbent Kris Humphries hits the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
But everything starts and ends with Williams. With him, they arrive in Brooklyn as the first team to move into New York in 50 years with one of the best players in the world as the face of their franchise.
Without him, they will be left to pick up the pieces.
The reports of the Nets talking with the Hawks about a potential deal involving All-Star guard Joe Johnson were confirmed by two different sources this morning. And there remains that little thing about Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard demanding a trade to Brooklyn as well.
Again, this is only the beginning of what promises to be a busy summer for the Nets!