The Philadelphia 76ers announced Saturday that they will be waiving Gerald Wallace. This makes sense for the Sixers. They want to tank and, not that Gerald Wallace wouldn’t help them do that, but he’s a veteran and may want to live out the rest of his career on a decent team that he can contribute valuable minutes to. The Sixers also have way too many players on their roster (two over the maximum, in fact) so some cuts were expected.
The truth is that Wallace’s career is close to its end. The last year he got substantial minutes was the 2013-2014 season, when he averaged 24 minutes, 5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. His last good year was 2011-2012 where he averaged 15 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block for the then New Jersey Nets. At 33 years of age, he has just enough left in his tank to maybe pique the interest of a few NBA teams. Here are the top 5 best teams for Gerald Wallace based on fit, need, and quality.
1. New Orleans Pelicans
Why: The team currently has five Small Forwards on its roster. I’m not saying Gerald Wallace is significantly better than any one of those guys, but his veteran leadership will be a boost for this team. Not only that, but he’s not the kind of guy that needs the ball a lot – his game is really on the defensive end – so that will keep guys like Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon free to run the show.
2. Dallas Mavericks
Why: With Wesley Matthews and Chandler Parsons dealing with injuries that we already know will hold them out of training camp, the Mavericks might need a security blanket at the Small Forward position. Gerald Wallace is in no way going to replace Parsons, but he’ll be nice to have. And the Mavericks have always struggled with defense, so they may need Wallace in a pinch.
3. Milwaukee Bucks
Why: Similar to the situation with the Pelicans, Wallace’s veteran leadership will be helpful on a young Bucks team. Their starting line-up is amazing, but having a guy come off the bench that can mop up some rebounds and slow down the opponent while the starters get a rest will be valuable. He might not get a lot of minutes, but he’ll be good to have.
4. Miami Heat
Why: The Heat have a whole bunch of players that are all question marks – Gerald Green, Justice Winslow, Josh McRoberts, and Amare Stoudemire. Wallace can’t fill all those positions, but if you need some stability for a few minutes, his reputation has a hard worker and smart player will fit the bill.
5. Los Angeles Clippers
Why: Why not? The Clippers are signing everyone else, they might has well sign Wallace, too, right? The Clippers have plenty of talent, but they plan on making a deep Playoff run, maybe even going all the way. Well, you can never have too much depth in the Playoffs. Injuries and match-ups change the tone of each game. Gerald Wallace could fill in some gaps here and there, or just be a cool guy to have around to keep Lance Stephenson from blowing in everyone’s ear.