DALLAS -- Plenty of radio air waves back in February, and even now, were devoted to whether the Dallas Mavericks should make a deadline trade to acquire either Stephen Jackson or Gerald Wallace from the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Mavs decided on neither. The Portland Trail Blazers, however, made a play for the 6-foot-7 veteran Wallace who has made the Blazers a far more versatile team with his ability to play both forward positions. Wallace said he figured he would retire in Charlotte and was surprised when the trade went down.
"Once it set in, you get accustomed to being around it and you see yourself in a better position at the end of the day personally for your career situation," said Wallace, who has averaged 14.8 points over the last five seasons. "You've pretty much exhausted all your options there in Charlotte, and now you're put in another situation where you get an opportunity to be on a very talented team and compete for a championship."
For the record, Wallace said he never though he'd land in Dallas. Now, the Mavs have to deal with him and the added dimension he gives the Blazers, who bring still-recovering budding superstar Brandon Roy off the bench.
In two games with Portland against the Mavs, Wallace averaged 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds with a 19-point, eight-rebound game in the last matchup in Portland on April 3.
"I feel like I've fit in pretty good," said Wallace, who averaged 15.8 points and 5.9 rebounds in 23 games with the Blazers, who went 15-8. "I got accustomed over the last month-and-a-half that I've been. I really got to know the guys, got comfortable with the guys out on the court and so that makes things a whole lot easier."