Gerald Wallace: Should He Return to Charlotte?


Should Gerald Wallace come home? That is the question as the Philadelphia 76ers have waived Wallace according to reports from Marc Stein of ESPN. Wallace was playing out the final $10 million dollar year of his contract when waived. He will make the money due to him this season plus whatever additional deal that he can cobble together with a new team. Wallace’s contract was used as a trade chip on this off season before being absorbed by Philadelphia to help them get to the salary floor.

Wallace is nearing the end of his string in the league, but his hard work and team first mindset should land him on one more squad before he calls it quits. Should that squad be the Charlotte Hornets? There are some questions that would have to be answered first.

1. What does he have left?
Wallace’s game was always based on his athleticism, and injuries and age have reduced that. Wallace averaged 24 minutes of game action in 2013-14 for the Celtics with 5 points a game. He also had four rebounds per game that year. His shooting from distance hovered around 30%, which is a common problem on recent Hornets teams.

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2. Would that matter?
Wallace is a good fit for the defense first system of Steve Clifford. He could help prevent a defensive liability from opening up on the court when Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Gerald Wallace 2.0) is not on the court. He can also move down to the four to offer resistance in small ball lineups. We are not asking for vintage 30 minutes of Crash Gerald Wallace, maybe ten energy filled minutes a game.

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3. Is there room?
To sign Wallace, the Hornets would have to cut somebody. They have 18 players in camp and can only carry fifteen into the final roster (12 active, 3 inactive). The players that the Hornets might let go would be projects, while Wallace would have some leadership and intangibles to offer. He also is a true small forward, which there are few of on the current roster.

The major roster problem is that the Hornets retooled to add shooting and some of those guys are wing players who would take minutes away from Wallace. The Hornets have desperately needed shooting and that is something Gerald really cannot offer.

I am kind of a nostalgia bum and think it would be cool for Wallace to end his career in Charlotte by helping once more to create a playoff team. I realize though that it is probably not in the cards.

Next: Hornets Release Starting Five?