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Gerald Wallace? 25% of the League is Chasing Him

Lots of teams could use a dynamic 6-7 wing player who can average 18 points on 50% shooting, collect 7 boards, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He'll cost some team a ton of money, likely around 10+ million per year. Is he worth it? From the numbers he put up in the last 4 months of the season, I'd say yes. Chad Ford has him ranked as the 3rd best free agent out there behind Rashard Lewis and Chauncey Billups. Honestly, I think he's the top free agent available. He can do almost everything, score, rebound, and defend. Here's what Chad Ford had to say.

If you want to see graphic evidence of a guy establishing his value, go back and look at the tapes of the Bobcats' final 45 games, when Wallace averaged 21.6 points with 14 double-doubles. Wallace opted out of a contract that would have paid him $6.05 million next season, and he'd command double that if there were a more open market this summer.

Michael Jordan says he wants to keep him in Charlotte, but we'll have to wait and see how open owner Bob Johnson's wallet is going to be now that he's taken on the contract of Jason Richardson. Don't forget, the Bobcats also have to offer an extension to Emeka Okafor.

But there are a couple things I'm worried about. First, Chad Ford says he played exceptionally well for the final 45 games, the season is 82 games long. Where was he for the first half of the season? His stats last year show that he can play well across an entire season, but he also wasn't earning a large paycheck. Is the Gerald Wallace teams will play for the guy who played the first 37 games last season or the guy who played the final 45 games? It reminds me of Erick Dampier's contract year where he looked like he could become a future All-Star if he continued to improve. Everyone knew he was playing for money, but I'm not sure about Wallace. I think he'll continue to improve, he just has to become consistent game in and game out. But at just 25, he's worth a gamble for a contending team.

I'm no cap exptert, but the second red flag for me in handing him a large deal is what happens with Andris and Monta. If we use all the cap space on Wallace, these two also need to be extended or we risk losing them. To me, if we get a talent like Wallace, I don't mind losing Monta. But I'm against signing Wallace at the cost of losing Biedrins in a year. He's a valuable commodity and we'll have nobody who can play in the paint. Maybe this is all a moot point and Cohan will pony up the bucks and go over the cap for a shot at a title, but I doubt it.

So what does it take to get Gerald Wallace? I'm not sure, but there are 8 teams in pursuit and that will drive the price through the roof.

The Bobcats were one of eight teams that contacted Wallace when the NBA's free agency period began at midnight Saturday. Dallas, Orlando, Milwaukee, Detroit, Miami, Portland and Golden State all made inquiries, a person close to Wallace said Sunday.

Outside of the Warriors, if Dallas gets him, look out. They'll have two lock down defenders in Josh Howard and Gerald Wallace to really give the Spurs and Suns a run for their money. Let's just hope that if he doesn't go to the Warriors, he stays out East.

I know many on GSoM would love to have Gerald Wallace on the team, but at what cost? Were his final 45 games of the season an precursor of greater things to come or just a guy playing hard in his contract year? Let's say Wallace signs for nothing less than $10 mil per year, what do we do with our youngin' Monta and Biedrins? Cohan isn't going to pay a luxury tax, so these two might have to be shipped out. Is he worth it? I say go for it.

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