Double Dribble

An NBA blog from Newsday's Bobby Bonett

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Reports: Gerald Wallace to opt out of contract, test free agency

New Jersey Nets' Gerald Wallace (45) goes up

New Jersey Nets' Gerald Wallace (45) goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers' Andre Iguodala (9) during the first quarter. (April 23, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Brooklyn Nets trade-deadline acquisiton Gerald Wallace will opt out of the final year of his contract according to a pair of reports, though it doesn't necessarily mean Wallace won't return for the Nets' inaugural season in Brooklyn.

MySportsLegion.com first reported the news, which was later confirmed by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

In what was viewed by many as a major reach, the Nets parted with a first round pick and veterans Mehmet Okur and Shawne Williams to acquire Wallace from the Portland Trail Blazers at the deadline. Wallace's contract guaranteed he'd only stay with the Nets through the end of the season, a $9.5 million player option hanging over the 2012-13 season.

Wallace was likely viewed by the Nets as a potential chip to entice Deron Williams to re-sign with the Nets, and perhaps even encourage Dwight Howard to strong-arm his way to Brooklyn.

Instead, the Nets could lose both Wallace and Williams, while Howard is signed with the Magic through the 2012-13 season.

Wallace is ranked 13th by Newsday among available NBA free agents.

Bonnell did mention in his tweet, however, that his guess is that Wallace will in fact re-sign with the Nets.

For Nets fans, similar optimism is unlikely when it comes to the team's star point guard.

Wallace, a lockdown defender, strong rebounder and athletic scorer, averaged 15.2 points and 6.8 boards in 16 games with the Nets. He shot just 41.6 percent from the floor, though, which would have been his lowest mark as a starter had the shooting percentage spanned a full season.

In 11 NBA season, Wallace has made the playoffs five times. He made it out of the first round just once, as a 20-year-old reserve for the 2001-02 Sacramento Kings.

Tags: Gerald Wallace , Brooklyn Nets , free agency

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