This deal is a major head-scratcher to me for New Jersey. New Jersey, or as they will be when the draft takes place, Brooklyn, just gave away their lottery pick AFTER Dwight Howard has said that he’ll stay in Orlando for one more year. The team MUST re-sign Deron Williams and it must feel that Gerald Wallace helps the team’s chances of doing so more than any player taken outside of the top-3 does. While that may be true the team is locked in a bad spot. Once they learn Williams’ fate they will have to deal with the status of restricted free agent Brook Lopez. The bright spot is that IF they are able to retain their all-star point guard, once they finish 2012-13 Gerald Wallace’s contract will be up and they can again begin their pursuit of Howard using Lopez’s contract.
This deal was a no-brainer win for Portland. They get Mehmet Okur’s bird rights/cap room (A healthy Okur would fit great alongside Aldridge) on top of a lottery pick that can only be anywhere from 4th to 7th in a draft that has 6 potentially great players available in it. The team already has talent but they need to re-sign restricted free agent SF Nicholas Batum this off-season. Gerald Wallace was already playing out of position in LaMarcus Aldridge’s natural PF spot to make playing time open for Batum and Wesley Matthews. The team still has front-court issues but this deal was too good to pass on.