Blog Entry

Trade Deadline: Bobcats trade Wallace to Blazers

Posted on: February 24, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 5:54 pm
The Charlotte Bobcats have traded forward Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trail Blazers. Posted by Ben Golliver and Royce Young.

Portland Trail Blazers receive Gerald Wallace from the Charlotte Bobcats

by Ben Golliver

Years of rumored interest culminated on Thursday when the Portland Trail Blazers acquired Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace for reserve center Joel Przybilla, reserve forward Dante Cunningham, reserve center Sean Marks and two first round picks.

Wallace, famously nicknamed “Crash”, is a prototype for the type of basketball Blazers coach Nate McMillan likes to play: hard-nosed, aggressive, versatile, two-way and old school. He will find himself in like company alongside Blazers guard Wesley Matthews and forward Nicolas Batum, who both share his enthusiam for defense and high-intensity play.

This trade does not push the Blazers over the top into the realm of championship contention, but the fact that it didn’t require Portland to give up any of its major assets makes it a trade more than worth doing. None of the pieces sacrificed were critical or irreplaceable, and allowing Przybilla’s contract to expire this summer wouldn’t have helped the Blazers financially, as they are almost certainly committed to being over the cap for the foreseeable future thanks to long-term contracts already given to Aldridge and Roy, as well as big money that will need to be committed to center Greg Oden. As for the picks, the Blazers can always purchase draft picks in the future as they often have in the past. This trade comes down to cashing in multiple smaller assets into one big chip, a move the Blazers have been hesitant to make in previous years, much to their fans’ collective disappointment.

Pulling the trigger on this trade simply boiled down to whether Wallace was worth adding to the roster at his salary price of $10.5 million. Given his all-NBA defensive pedigree and the fact that two major division rivals – the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets – lost their franchise players this week, that question feels like a no-brainer. The Blazers get better, without a doubt, while the competition got worse. Portland is now poised to compete for the Northwest Division title and has improved its chances of winning a playoff series, something that would mean a lot to Allen and his management team given how injuries to Roy and Oden seemingly derailed the team’s carefully-constructed championship blueprints. 

The trade leaves Portland thin in the frontcourt, but the Blazers have found success playing small ball lineups because of a string of injuries this season, and Wallace should fit nicely into that plan. When the Blazers move LaMarcus Aldridge to center, McMillan will be able to use Matthews, Batum and Wallace nearly interchangeably on the perimeter.  The rotation could get tight, though, when guard Brandon Roy continues to make his comeback from knee surgery but the Blazers could opt for a big lineup with Roy playing the point guard spot on offense and defending off the ball on defense.

A few questions remain: Are there enough minutes for both Batum and Wallace, how will Portland address the age of key players like Andre Miller and Marcus Camby and where will Portland turn to address its lack of frontcourt depth? But this trade made the Blazers better this season and it didn’t meaningfully compromise their future flexibility. That adds up to a strong start for first year GM Rich Cho.

Charlotte Bobcats receive Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two first round picks from the Portland Trail Blazers

By Royce Young

It had been something on the table this entire season. It was whispered by many, but it didn't appear that the Bobcats were going to get serious about truly blowing up the roster and starting anew. 

Wednesday, there was a lot of chatter that Charlotte was in active talks with Portland about sending former All-Star Gerald Wallace to the Blazers. And after a good amount of back and forth with one report saying Michael Jordan was getting cold feet, it finally happened. 

Wallace is headed to Portland for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two first-round picks. The Bobcats decided to set fire to the roster and it was about time. 

The price of this trade is the two first rounders, but also Przybilla, whose contract is up after this season. Charlotte is now setting itself up to actually rebuild, instead of just treading water. 

They are still in the Eastern playoff hunt and they'll likely slip from there, but it's worth it. That just means they get another lottery pick this season. At some point, hanging on to mediocrity just isn't worth it. If you're actually going to contend and make a dent in the tough top tier of the East, you've got to do better than what Charlotte was putting out. 

Yes, losing Wallace hurts. He was under contract through next season and had a player option in 2013. He was making almost $10 million which isn't a ton, but it was painfully clear that he wasn't the type of player that really was going to be a true building block. He's a great player, a great rebounder and a good scorer. But the Bobcats need to find a new identity and the best way to do that is by creating financial flexibility and stockpiling picks. 

In this NBA atmosphere, you're either trying to contend now or build for later. The Bobcats had caught themselves in a Bermuda Triangle in between of being good enough to win sometimes, but never with a vision to actually be a true contender. The step to blow up and is rebuild isn't easy and that's why Jordan probably hesitated, but this was the right move. 



Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2011 11:25 am

Trade Deadline: Bobcats trade Wallace to Blazers

Having lived in Charlotte for 7 years, but being a Bulls fan, it was evident that the fans wish the Hornets were back in Charlotte.  There is a ton of re-living past successes.  The Johnson regime surely did not help the cause.  I think Michael has a plan in place, but made a major error in allowing Larry Brown to run the franchise for 3 years.  Letting Felton go was a bad mistake. 

Letting Wallace go was a smart move because they received two #1's.  He is along in age, and his style of play always leads to injuries.  They have the start of a nucleus with DJ, and Henersonbut need to build around them.  Seems they are breaking down the team Larry Brown built.  He never played Henderson and now look how he is playing.

They may be relevant in 1-2 years.

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: February 25, 2011 11:45 am

Trade Deadline: Bobcats trade Wallace to Blazers

@jmartin34: "You just got one of the best all-around players in the NBA and you're worried about Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, and Joel Pryzbilla?  COME ON!"

Doesn't look like you read what I wrote.  I was offering some insight on the new Bobcats players for fans in Charlotte that probably know little about any of them.  I also didn't express worry; I said I was nervous about losing Pryzbilla's minutes, and rightly so since the only center left on Portland's roster is an injured, aging Marcus Camby.

I have great sympathy for Bobcats fans, since I am all too familiar with rooting for a team whose ownership seems completely disinterested in fielding a competetive team: I've been a Detroit Lions fan for 1/2 century.  Charlotte fans look back on a decade of evidence that ownership cares little for W's in the standings -- as long as the W's at the box office are consistent.

Lions fans have suffered with that for five times as long.

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2011 12:55 am

Trade Deadline: Bobcats trade Wallace to Blazers

dont give me your sob story the pirates have been losing for 20 years and havent even had a winning record and i'm still going to games and rooting for them.

i've been a nba team all my life and i'd take a crappy team over no team. 

charlotte does not deserve a nba team.  give them to a city who appreciates them not only appreciates a team that has tremendous success.

Since: Feb 25, 2011
Posted on: February 25, 2011 12:55 am

Trade Deadline: Bobcats trade Wallace to Blazers

Since: Feb 25, 2011
Posted on: February 25, 2011 12:51 am

Trade Deadline: Bobcats trade Wallace to Blazers

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2011 12:24 am

Trade Deadline: Bobcats trade Wallace to Blazers

The Charlotte Bobcats will never be a successful NBA franchise on the court or at the gate if they consitantly keep on making moves like this one.The consensus in the NBA is that a team probably needs three true stars to compete for a championship.The Bobcats now maybe have one player on their roster that the average NBA fan can even name. Michael Jordan seems quite content to run his franchise as a small market team made up of no-name players (sort of an NBA version of the Pittsburgh Pirates in baseball).

I live in N.C., & I remember vividly the fantastic support Charlotte gave the NBA when they got their first franchise-the Hornets.They led the league in attendence for years & the atmosphere was like a Duke-UNC matchup at every game. This lasted until the fans in N.C. wised up to the fact that Hornets owner George Shinn had no interest in building a championship caliber team.He just wanted to put a team on the court that made him a profit. The team actually winning was something he showed little interest in. Eventually attendance collapsed as fan apathy set in & the team moved to New Orleans.

Enthusiasm was more contained when the Bobcats began operating in Charlotte. The fans were unwilling to give the hearts, souls, & cash to another perennial also-ran. This franchise could be hugely successful at the gate if an owner had as their main priority going all out to win championships.But neither former owner Bob Johnson or now Jordan seem particularly interested in doing that. I don't believe this franchise can succeed (or even survive) in Charlotte long term if Michael Jordan is unwilling or unable to work toward building a real contender. He may end up turning a profit eventually by selling the team to someone else from another city desperate for an NBA franchise. But, he won't get me to shell out big bucks to see what amounts to a glorified CBA franchise stumble to the finish line of another unsuccessful season.The one thing Michael Jordan has managed to accomplish since buying the Bobcats is to make George Shinn look like a high-roller by comparison.And that's not something I'd be too proud of if I was MJ.

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 10:29 pm

Trade Deadline: Bobcats trade Wallace to Blazers

You just got one of the best all-around players in the NBA and you're worried about Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, and Joel Pryzbilla?  COME ON!

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2011 10:09 pm

Trade Deadline: Bobcats trade Wallace to Blazers

As a Blazer's fan I'm not thrilled by the deal, but I see the reasoning. Pryzbilla is a fine backup center who gives you full effort every night to go with his rebounds & blocked shots; the two draft picks are as yet of unknown value; Marks works hard, albeit with a declining skill set. I think Charlotte will be surprised by what Dante Cunningham brings to the table. He's young, athletic, has great energy, has a nose for rebounds, has a nice mid-range jumper, & plays some very good defense. In a starting role he can get you some consistent double-doubles.

I'm familar with Wallace's fine reputation, but as I haven't seen him play very often I'll reserve judgment until I see how he fits in here in Portland. Given our dearth of bigs I'm nervous about losing the minutes Joel gave us, & I'll sure miss Dante's enthusiasm & growing skills, but lemme see what Gerald looks like out there with Aldridge before I hand out any grades.

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2011 7:47 pm

Trade Deadline: Bobcats trade Wallace to Blazers

Why Charlotte, WHY? The team is battling for a playoff spot and you trade not only your best player but your best asset for a bunch of scrubs? Wow, the picks better turn out to be gold.  Either way, Charlotte will no longer contend for a playoff spot. 

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