With the biggest target in trade talks Dwight Howard deciding to stay put for another season, the New Jersey Nets moved quickly to bring in pieces to persuade Deron Williams to stay by trading oft-injured center Mehmet Okur, forward Shawne Williams and a protected 2012 first round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for Gerald Wallace. Yahoo! Sports was the first to report the deal.
Portland has been looking to make some changes after a disappointing start to this season, where many expected the Blazers to compete for an upper seed in the Western Conference. The Trail Blazers are currently 20-23 and three games behind Dallas for the eighth seed.
Gerald Wallace has averaged 13.3 ppg and 6.6 rpg in 38 games for Portland this season, well below expectations for the athletic swingman. Okur has been on the shelf lately with back injuries and has averaged 7.6 ppg and 4.8 rpg in 17 games this year. Okur’s $10.8 mil contract expires after this season. Wallace has an $11.4 mil player option for 2012-2013.