Gerald Wallace

The New Jersey Nets have acquired forward Gerald Wallace from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for center Mehmet Okur, forward Shawne Williams and the Nets’ 2012 protected first round draft pick, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

“We are excited to add Gerald’s experience and toughness at the small forward position,” said King.  “His leadership and defensive prowess will be assets to our team going forward.”

Portland also requested waivers on centers Greg Oden and Chris Johnson today.

“This trade was very compelling to us because not only does it give us more flexibility in free agency, but we also acquire a very attractive first-round draft pick,” said Trail Blazers’ Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. “I’d like to thank Gerald, Greg and Chris for all they’ve done for the franchise and hope for nothing but the best for them and their futures.”

The draft pick is top-three protected, meaning the Trail Blazers will own the pick in 2012 as long as it is not in the top three of the NBA Draft.

Okur, 32, has averages of 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 29.1 minutes in 10 NBA seasons with Detroit, Utah and New Jersey. An NBA All-Star in 2007 and a native of Turkey, Okur has appeared in 17 games for the Nets this season, averaging 7.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

Williams, 26, has posted career averages of 5.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists in parts of five seasons with Indiana, Dallas, New York and New Jersey. He has played in 25 games for New Jersey this season, averaging 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds.

Wallace, a 2010 NBA All-Star, comes to the Nets after making 42 starts for the Blazers this season and posting averages of 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.  The 6-7 forward was selected by Sacramento in the first round (25th overall) of the 2001 NBA Draft out of the University of Alabama and spent his first three NBA seasons with the Kings.  He then began a seven-year stint with Charlotte after being selected by the Bobcats in the NBA Expansion Draft in 2004.  Wallace enjoyed his best seasons in Charlotte in 2007-08, when he averaged a career- high 19.4 points per game and in 2009-10, with averages of 18.2 points and a career-best 10.0 rebounds, earning him NBA All-Star honors as well as a place on the NBA’s All Defensive First Team.  Midway through the 2010-11 season, Wallace was traded to Portland, where he played parts of three seasons.  Currently in his 11th NBA season, Wallace has played in a total of 657 games and holds career averages of 13.4 points on .475 shooting and 6.3 rebounds per game.  Wallace has helped his teams reach the playoffs on five occasions and lists postseason averages of 7.1 points and 4.0 rebounds in 25 games.

Okur, who was acquired from Utah on December 22, 2011, played in 17 games for the Nets this season, with averages of 7.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game.  He missed a total of 27 games this season with a sore lower back.  The 10-year NBA veteran from Turkey holds career averages of 13.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 634 NBA games with Detroit, Utah and New Jersey.

Williams, who signed with the Nets as a free agent on December 15, 2011, played in 25 games for the Nets this season, with averages of 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game. He has missed a total of 19 games due to injury and underwent season ending left foot surgery on February 22.  The five-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 5.7 points and 2.8 rebounds over 215 games with Indiana, Dallas, New York and New Jersey.

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