Gerald Wallace has informed Nets officials that he'll turn down his $9.5MM player option for 2012/13 and become a free agent, according to MySportsLegion.com (via Twitter). Rob Pelinka, Wallace's agent, says the decision doesn't mean Wallace will leave Brooklyn, and that he and his client will explore all their options (Twitter link).
Wallace's decision to turn down his option is no surprise. An April report indicated that Wallace would likely seek a multiyear contract this summer rather than playing out the final year of his current deal. While the 29-year-old won't necessarily find a long-term deal that pays him the $9.5MM annual salary his option does, he's assured of finding a larger overall guarantee spread across multiple seasons.
Like Wallace, Deron Williams won't pick up his option year, so the Nets will be faced with negotiating new deals for both players, as well as attempting to re-sign restricted free agent Brook Lopez. When I examined Brooklyn's offseason last month, I estimated that new contracts for all three of the team's major free agents could amount to a 2012/13 cap hit in the neighborhood of $35MM.