Gerald Wallace

Billy King Looks Back On Tenure With Nets

Former Nets GM Billy King, who is widely blamed for turning the organization into a perennial loser with no lottery picks, tells his side of the story in an interview with The Glue Guys, a Nets-themed podcast.

King touches on several controversial issues in the 45-minute session, including an effort to acquire Chris Paul, the failure to get Dwight Howard when he wanted to join the Nets and the ill-fated trade that sent three unprotected first-rounders to Boston for a package centered around veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

The highlights:

  • King tried to get Paul from New Orleans before dealing with Utah for Deron Williams. King believed he was making progress, but the deal went cold after Jeff Bowers was replaced as GM by Dell Demps. “At that time, I don’t think Dell wanted his first thing to be trading Chris Paul,” King said.
  • The Nets believed they were close to acquiring Howard from Orlando just before the 2012 trade deadline. “We went to bed as a staff — we left the office pretty late — we went to bed pretty much knowing that tomorrow we’re going to get Dwight,” King said. Magic GM Otis Smith had planned to finalize the deal the next morning, but King woke up to a text saying that Howard had elected to opt in for the following season. King reached out to Howard’s agent, who responded, “I don’t think he did,” and even Smith hadn’t heard the news when King called him. However, Smith returned the call an hour later and confirmed the news.
  • The Nets responded by trading their 2012 first-round pick to Portland in exchange for Gerald Wallace in an attempt to appease Williams and discourage him from opting out over the summer. The Blazers used that pick to draft Damian Lillard.
  • King reached out to the Celtics in 2013 because he thought he had a talented nucleus that needed veteran leadership and was interested in acquiring Pierce. Negotiations led to Garnett and Jason Terry being included and the package of picks going to Boston.
  • King made an offer to Pierce in the summer of 2014, but he got a better deal from Washington and the Nets decided not to match it. “Once that decision was made, I think it changed our thought process,” King said. “I think some of the players even thought, ‘What’s going on here? We were committed and now we’re not.” King added that he wouldn’t have made the deal with Boston if he knew he couldn’t keep Pierce longer than one season.

Sixers Waive Gerald Wallace

SUNDAY, 2:11pm: The Sixers made the move official in an emailed press release.

SATURDAY, 4:14pm: The Sixers have waived forward Gerald Wallace, Marc Stein of reports (on Twitter). MassLive’s Jay King first reported the move was coming (Twitter link). Philadelphia will still be on the hook for Wallace’s fully guaranteed salary of $10,105,855 for the 2015/16 season, which is the final year of the veteran’s current contract. The team could possibly recoup some of that amount via set-off rights if Wallace were to sign with another team.

The move is not an unexpected one for Philadelphia, as Wallace likely didn’t fit it into its long-term plans. The 33-year-old was acquired from Golden State at the end of July in the deal that sent Jason Thompson to the Warriors. Waiving a player is also a necessary move for the Sixers, who have contract agreements with 21 players, which is one over the preseason maximum.

Wallace appeared in 32 games for Boston last season, averaging 1.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 8.9 minutes per contest. He was the No. 25 overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, and his career averages are 11.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 2.1 APG to accompany a shooting line of .469/.312/.709.

Warriors, Sixers Swap Thompson, Wallace

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

4:36pm: Philadelphia receives the right to swap the lesser of the 2016 first-round picks coming their way from the Heat and the Thunder for Golden State’s 2016 first-round pick, tweets Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

4:05pm: The Warriors have acquired Jason Thompson from the Sixers in exchange for Gerald Wallace, both teams announced via press release. Cash and draft considerations are also going to Philadelphia in the move. It’s a money-saving deal for Golden State, which sends Wallace’s $10,105,855 salary into Philadelphia’s cap space, with Thompson’s $6,908,685 salary going back in return, and with the Warriors poised to pay the luxury tax this season, the move saves the Warriors from tax penalties of as much as two and a half times the difference between their salaries. It also creates a trade exception worth $3,197,170 for Golden State.

“We’re very happy to add Jason to our roster,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said. “He has a proven track record in this league and adds considerably to our team’s depth, which was a big key to our success last season and will be moving forward.”

Thompson will ostensibly fill the reserve power forward role that David Lee played last year for the champs, who sent Lee to the Celtics in the deal that brought in Wallace. The 29-year-old Thompson has chiefly been a starter during his seven years in the NBA, all of which came with Sacramento before the trade earlier this month that sent him to Philly, but he probably won’t mind a reduced role on a team with a legitimate shot to win another title. Thompson has never appeared in a playoff game.

It was somewhat surprising when reports emerged following Golden State’s agreement on the Lee trade that the Warriors intended to keep Wallace rather than release him and use the stretch provision to spread his salary and lower their tax bill. Thus, it makes sense to see them make another deal that sends Wallace away and takes a chunk out of their team salary. The Warriors were scheduled to pay Lee $15,493,680 this coming season, so they’ve reduced their obligation by more than 50% with the pair of trades. The estimated tax bill for the Warriors drops from $24MM to $16MM with today’s trade, according to former Nets executive Bobby Marks (Twitter link). It had been $38.1MM before the Lee trade, Marks adds. Lee signed his deal prior to the adoption of the current collective bargaining agreement, so he’s ineligible for the stretch provision.

Thompson’s contract runs through 2016/17 with $2.6MM partially guaranteed on a salary of $7,010,378 that season, Marks points out (Twitter link). That salary becomes fully guaranteed if he doesn’t hit waivers by June 26th, 2016, as Marks also notes.

The Sixers receive yet more draft assets and draw closer to the $63MM salary floor. They held more than $20MM in cap flexibility prior to the trade, and they still have about $17.5MM they can spend, not counting their non-guaranteed deals, giving them flexibility to absorb other contracts via trade. They could also float a bloated offer sheet to Norris Cole, in whom they reportedly have interest, or to Tristan Thompson. Philadelphia clears salary from its 2016/17 books, since Wallace is on an expiring contract.

Who do you think got the better end of this trade? Leave a comment to weigh in.

Celtics Acquire David Lee

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

JULY 27TH, 11:10am: The deal is finally official, the Celtics announce. It’s Babb and Wallace headed to Golden State, with Lee going to Boston.

“We are excited to welcome David as a member of the Celtics family,” Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. “His proven skill set and experience on a championship team will add valuable depth to our frontcourt and a veteran presence to our locker room.”

The Warriors followed with their own press release to confirm the deal.

“On behalf of the entire Golden State Warriors organization, we thank David Lee for his contributions both on and off the court over the last five years,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said. “Throughout his time with the Warriors, David was a great player, competitor and presence in our locker room as well as in the community and was a stabilizing force during a period that saw many positive changes within the organization. Most importantly, he leaves Golden State as an NBA champion. We wish him nothing but the best in the next chapter of his career.”

4:09pm: The teams are still considering “several different ways” to structure the trade and are in no rush, a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). In any case, the Celtics have no intention of flipping Lee to another team, Himmelsbach also hears (on Twitter).

3:03pm: Babb is most likely the player headed to the Warriors, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, who nonetheless won’t rule out that it’ll be Pressey going to Golden State instead.

2:43pm: Berger clarifies that no picks or cash are headed to Golden State in addition to Wallace, but a “filler contract” will go from the Celtics to the Warriors, he says (Twitter link).

2:11pm: Boston will send another player to the Warriors, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link), which conflicts with Berger’s report. That’s perhaps a signal that the Celtics will seek to stay over the cap, a maneuver that would allow them to keep their trade exceptions. In any case, the extra player who would be going to Golden State would be on a make-good deal, Amick adds. Phil Pressey and Chris Babb are Boston’s only players on non-guaranteed contracts.

JULY 7TH: 1:46pm: The Celtics have agreed with the Warriors on a trade that will send David Lee to Boston, reports Tommy Dee of (on Twitter), and as Marc Stein of confirms (Twitter link). Gerald Wallace will head to Golden State, Stein adds (on Twitter). Part of the efficacy of the deal for Golden State is that it can use the stretch provision to waive Wallace and spread his nearly $10.106MM salary, while Lee’s contract is ineligible for the provision because he signed it under the previous collective bargaining agreement, notes SB Nation’s Mike Prada (Twitter link). The Celtics can open cap room, so it won’t matter that Lee’s salary of nearly $15.494MM is more than $5MM in excess of Wallace’s. Indeed, no other players are involved in the deal, tweets Ken Berger of Boston, despite its multitude of trade exceptions, doesn’t possess one large enough to absorb Lee’s salary, and trade exceptions can’t be combined.

The Warriors plan to keep Wallace, despite the tax savings the team could reap if they waive him, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), though they have until August 31st to change their minds and spread his salary in equal thirds over the next three seasons. Golden State was poised to have a payroll in excess of $100MM before their agreement on this deal, and while bringing in Wallace would take that figure closer to $96MM, that’s still well in excess of a tax line projected to fall around $82MM.

Lee provides the Celtics a player who’s shown more production in the last two seasons than Wallace has, even though Lee receded from Golden State’s rotation for stretches this year. He isn’t the superstar or the rim-protector that the Celtics have long sought, but he averaged 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in 33.2 minutes per game for a playoff-bound Warriors team in 2013/14.

The Knicks and Lakers had reportedly considered trading for the 32-year-old former All-Star as Lee’s representatives and the Warriors sought takers for his contract, which expires next summer. However, record gate receipts from the team’s run to the Finals left Golden State with greater comfort in paying at least a moderate amount of tax, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported. Lowe suggested that it meant the Warriors had become more likely to swing a trade that brought back salary in return, as is the case with this deal.

Boston had reportedly been willing enough to trade Wallace that it would have parted with a first-round pick to make it happen, but it looks like the Celtics won’t have to pay that price. The forward turns 33 later this month and saw only 8.9 minutes per game this past season. His contract, like Lee’s, runs only through 2015/16.

Pacific Notes: Lee, Stephenson, Pierce

The Celtics agreed to take David Lee from the Warriors in exchange for Gerald Wallace more than two weeks ago, but the move has still yet to officially take place. That should change by Monday, as Marc Stein of hears (Twitter link), and the Celtics sent a press release detailing an introduction of “offseason additions” scheduled for that day. While we continue to wait for the formal trade, here’s more from around the Pacific Division:

  • Duje Dukan‘s deal with the Kings is for two years, with the first season being fully guaranteed and year two carrying a partial guarantee, Jeff Goodman of tweets.
  • Clippers swingman Lance Stephenson said that nagging injuries and his game being too similar to Kemba Walker‘s were contributing factors to his down season with the Hornets last year, and led to him being dealt to Los Angeles, Jared Zwerling of BleacherReport writes. When asked why he was traded, Stephenson told Zwerling, “It just didn’t work. I felt like me and Kemba do the same type of stuff, and it just didn’t click. Kemba is like a smaller me. He dominates the ball and he’s a playmaker. And then my jump shot wasn’t falling, so it was a tough season. I had toe and groin injuries. I’m telling you, this was worse than my rookie year when I didn’t even play. I was really mentally down. I was trying everything to try to figure out what I can do to help this squad.
  • Veteran forward Paul Pierce said he chose to sign with the Clippers because he wanted another shot at winning a title, and wants to end his career playing in Los Angeles, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post relays. “I’m at the point in my career where it’s winding down,” said Pierce. “I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted another opportunity to win a championship. I thought just being here would be a great fit. I’m a veteran. I could be another voice in the locker room and I can just pretty much fill any role that they need me to play. If I didn’t think the Clippers were close then, no matter home or not, I probably wouldn’t have made this decision.

 Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Lee, Randle, Bulls, Clippers

Clippers guard J.J. Redick vented his frustrations with his team’s offseason during an interview with Bleacher Report Radio, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times relays. When asked to grade Los Angeles’ free agent moves, Redick said, “Is there an F-minus?” The veteran continued expressing his disappointment, saying, “Listen, we had one priority this summer and that was to re-sign D.J. [DeAndre Jordan] and we missed out on that, so barring some miracle, [the] makeup of our team is completely different now.” The center agreed to a four-year, $80MM deal with Dallas last week.

Redick noted the myriad of ways in which the Clippers will miss Jordan, referring to the big man as, “such an integral part of what we did, not just defensively but offensively with his screening, his rolling, his offensive rebounds. His presence down low essentially made teams either commit to the three-point line when Blake [Griffin] or Chris [Paul] penetrated or commit to him, and that either opened up lobs for him or threes for guys like me and Jamal [Crawford] and Matt [Barnes].

Here’s what else is happening around the league:

  • Free agent Kevin Seraphin is receiving interest from the Mavericks, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (Twitter link). The 25-year-old center has also had inquiries from the Lakers, Wizards, Suns and Spurs, Scotto adds.
  • The Lakers‘ first round draft pick of a year ago, Julius Randle, participated in his first organized practice with the team since he suffering a broken leg in his NBA debut last season, Baxter Holmes of writes. Randle, who is on track to be recovered by the start of the 2015/16 season, has lost weight while getting stronger, which should improve his quickness and production, Holmes adds. “The credit goes to my coaches for staying on me and not letting this downtime being injured be a step in the wrong direction,” Randle said. “I’m taking advantage of it the most that I could. It’s also me with my drive and will and people supporting me. The credit goes to all of them.
  • The proposed trade that would send David Lee to the Celtics can save the Warriors roughly $5MM in salary and an additional $18MM in luxury tax, which makes the deal worth doing for Golden State, even if Lee’s presence will be missed, Daniel Leroux of The Sporting News writes.
  • The Bulls missed a major opportunity to take advantage of a still developing Cavaliers roster and reach the NBA Finals, a feat that has grown even more difficult with the improvements that Cleveland, not to mention the Bucks and Raptors, made this offseason, Scoop Jackson of writes.

Celtics Notes: Wallace, Crowder, Free Agency

The Celtics are willing enough to trade Gerald Wallace that to do so, they would part with one of the seven extra first-round picks in line to come their way, sources tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, who writes in his NBA AM piece. Wallace’s contract is poised to turn into an expiring deal next season, when it calls for a salary of nearly $10.106MM, and while that would ostensibly make it less costly to move, it appears Boston is ready to give up an asset of value to facilitate a swap. Here’s more from Boston one day after a playoff exit:

  • Kyler has heard suggestions that the Mavs will make a run at Jae Crowder, as the Basketball Insiders scribe writes in the same piece. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge made it clear that he’d like Crowder back, and the soon-to-be restricted free agent received an auspicious diagnosis of a left ACL sprain after his injury Sunday, the team announced. That isn’t the serious injury that it appeared Crowder might have suffered, observes A. Sherrod Blakely of (Twitter link).
  • Blakely, in a full piece, examines the relative interest the C’s have in re-signing Crowder, Jonas Jerebko, Gigi Datome and Brandon Bass for next season
  • A first-round playoff exit was just the sort of outcome Ainge feared for the Celtics, leaving them without a lottery pick or having had much of a playoff run, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. Still, people in the organization are warming to the idea that the postseason berth can help, and they’re hopeful that having been on the playoff stage raises the team’s profile for free agents. Already, Kevin Love had reportedly held Boston in high regard as a free agent destination before a tie-up with Kelly Olynyk left the injured All-Star with a “legitimate loathing” of the C’s, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported earlier.

Atlantic Notes: Wallace, Nogueira, Robinson

Gerald Wallace plans to play out the last year of his contract during the 2015/16 season, but he will spend this summer deciding whether he will play past then, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “I would love to continue to play, but it’s more about my family and my kids,” he said. “I’m only 32 years old and I’ve been in here 14 years. That’s almost half of my life in this league. My kids are getting older. They’re starting to play high school sports now. It depends on if they’re comfortable with me still playing or they’re ready for me to come home and be part of their lives.”  Wallace will make slightly over $10.1MM next season as part of a four-year, $40MM contract he signed with the Nets in 2012.  About a year later, the forward was dealt to the Celtics, as Zach Links of Hoops Rumors notes in his latest piece.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors have recalled Lucas Nogueira from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, according to the team’s Twitter feed. To date, the Brazilian center has only seen 23 minutes of NBA action this season.
  • Thomas Robinson, an unrestricted free agent after the season, stopped short of saying he’d like to return to the Sixers, but he said that a team that includes him as well as Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid would be “scary” in a good way, observes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers can’t re-sign him to a starting salary of greater than $4,660,482 since the Blazers declined their fourth-year rookie scale team option on him this past fall.
  • Mason Plumlee, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams were among the Nets to praise Kevin Garnett as they prepare to face him for an opponent for the first time since Brooklyn traded him for Young at the deadline. Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News and Tim Bontemps of the New York Post have the details. “He meant a lot to this organization and to the team in the short time he was here,” Williams said. “I said it a million times — he’s a guy that you just learn so much from, just watching him every day, his work ethic, his leadership ability and he’s just a great guy to be around.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post

This Date In Transactions History: Gerald Wallace

On this date three years ago, the Nets paid a hefty price to give star guard Deron Williams some additional help.  New Jersey, gearing up for their long-anticipated move to Brooklyn, acquired Gerald Wallace in exchange for Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, and a top-three protected 2012 pick.  Of course, the trade deadline is typically weeks earlier than March 15th, but the cutoff was pushed up in the 2011/12 season thanks to the NBA lockout, which resulted in an abbreviated 66-game season.

While Crash still had a great deal to offer talent-wise, the deal raised some eyebrows for a lot of people from the Nets’ perspective.  For starters, Wallace held a $9.5MM player option for the following season and, theoretically, this trade could have amounted to a ~20 game rental for the Nets, who were certainly not headed to the postseason.  Not only were the Nets not playoff bound, but they had the sixth-worst record in the league at 15-29, so they were giving away a highly valuable asset in their first-round pick, even though it was top-three protected.  On the plus side, GM Billy King managed to shed Okur’s expiring $10.89MM contract and avoid Williams exercising his $3.1MM option for the following year.

In the offseason, Wallace would decline his player option and the two sides instead inked a brand new four-year, $40MM pact.  While Wallace became a fan favorite with his hard-nosed style of play, it was clear that his approach to the game wasn’t the best thing when it came to his longevity.  In the following season, Wallace averaged 7.7 PPG (his lowest posting since 2003/04) with an 11.6 PER that put him well below the league average.  The Nets finished the 2012/13 season with 49 wins, but they were sent packing early when the Bulls knocked them off in the opening round of the playoffs.  Months after that, just one year after the small forward signed that lucrative new deal with the Nets, Wallace was shipped to the Celtics in the blockbuster deal that would bring Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Barclays Center.  Later on,  as a member of the C’s, Wallace would comment on how that deal was also ill-fated.

It was one of those stories of a get-rich-quick scheme. You either hit it big or you don’t,” Wallace said, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “They took a gamble. It backfired.”

The Blazers, in essence, took advantage of the Nets’ desperation to fast forward their timetable for contention while taking on very little ($3.5MM thanks to Williams’ option) in future salary.  That first round pick from the Nets gave Portland the No. 6 overall choice in the 2012 draft, which they used to select guard Damian Lillard.  The pride of Weber State shot up draft boards in the weeks leading up to the draft and he has obviously proven to be worth the hype.  Lillard has blossomed into a two-time All-Star and one of the very best point guards in the NBA today.  Meanwhile, the Nets have watched Deron Williams decline sharply just three years after signing him to a five-year, ~$100MM deal.

Atlantic Notes: Wallace, Celtics, ‘Melo, Carlesimo

A Western Conference team has been inquiring with the Celtics about Gerald Wallace, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. The veteran forward makes nearly $10.106MM this season and the same salary next year, making him Boston’s highest-paid player and difficult to trade. The proposals the Celtics have received for him and others are “lowball” offers, Bulpett says, though in Wallace’s case, that’s certainly not surprising, given the albatross his contract has represented ever since Boston acquired him in the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade of 2013. There’s more from Bulpett’s piece on the Celtics amid the latest from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics reportedly have interest in Ty Lawson and Enes Kanter, but it’s unlikely either winds up in Boston come the trade deadline, as Bulpett writes in the same piece. Kanter’s public trade request is concerning to potential suitors, several league sources tell the Herald scribe.
  • Some within the Knicks have for weeks wanted Carmelo Anthony to stop playing this season so he can tend to his injured left knee, reports Ian Begley of
  • The summer ahead will show whether the Knicks under Phil Jackson can truly commit to a long-range plan or fall prey to the sort of quick-fix moves that have hurt the team in recent years, opines Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal.
  • P.J. Carlesimo admits he’d like to coach in the NBA again and thought his productive, albeit brief tenure with the Nets two years ago might help boost his stock around the league. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News has the details via Twitlonger.
  • Jerryd Bayless spoke glowingly about the time he spent with the Celtics and even admitted he would’ve liked to have re-signed with Boston when he was a free agent last summer, as Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe relays. Still, the seventh-year guard was quick to express a fondness for the Bucks, with whom he signed a two-year contract in July.

Charlie Adams contributed to this post.