2011-12 Stats (with Portland/New Jersey)- 13.8 ppg, 2.8 apg, 6.7 rpg, 1.5 spg, .6 bpg, 1.9 to, 45.4% FG, 30.7% 3-pt FG
This past season was a tumultuous one both on and off the court for Gerald “Crash” Wallace, as he moved from the Pacific Northwest to the Tri-State area mid-season. He then proceeded to become a free agent at the end of the year, only to re-up with the Nets for 4 years, $40 million (possibly saving GM Billy King’s job in the process. King almost lost the lottery pick he traded for Wallace for nothing when Wallace opted out, a potentially very embarrassing situation).
Wallace was only able to play in 58 games last year, the fewest he’s played in since 2003-04. He put up poor shooting numbers in his 16 games with the Nets, shooting only 41.6% from the field, but was able to contribute his usual points and rebounds to the team.
Wallace often looked like a man without a role, and understandable issue considering his late arrival in New Jersey. It seems he still has a lot left in the tank however, and the full offseason he has had this year will likely help him adjust to his new team.
Offseason report: Opted out of his contract only to resign with the Nets for 4 years, $40 million.
As detailed in the previous section, Wallace created an awkward situation for the Nets when it became clear he was going to test the free agent market this offseason. The pick Portland acquired from the Nets turned into Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard, a high scoring combo guard from Weber State that was the star of pre draft camps. Billy King came under a lot of fire for putting the Nets in such a situation, and he should consider himself fortunate the Nets didn’t miss out on both players.
Prediction for 2012-13: Wallace will find a niche as a defensive player/energy guy that can play multiple positions depending on the opponent.
The one trait that has always made Wallace a unique player is his versatility, as he can compete down low with the big boys as well as take defenders off the dribble. The Nets will need him to do a little bit of both this season in order for them to reach their maximum potential. When Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are struggling to score points, the team will look to exploit the natural mismatch Wallace presents for most defenders. And when Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez are getting worked down low (a far more likely scenario than Williams and Johnson struggling to score), “Crash’s” relentless energy and strength will be needed to turn the tides. He is a valuable player for this team, and his performance is one of the keys to the season.
Prediction for 2012-13: 14 ppg, 2 apg, 7 rpg, 1.5 spg, .5 bpg. 46% FG, 30% 3-pt FG