Gerald Wallace has been the invisible man since the trade was finalized to bring him to Boston. Rest assured, though. He does exist.
Not only is Wallace real, but when he is healthy, he is also real good. The man known as “Crash” was a joy to watch in his prime, particularly his 6 1/2 seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats. To this day, the 2009-10 Bobcats, the only team in franchise history to make the playoffs to this point, remain a cult favorite among diehard NBA fans for their all-out, take-no-prisoners style.
The days of diving headlong into the front row and scrapping for loose balls are not behind Wallace yet, but the collisions have taken their toll on the 30-year-old. Once a relatively decent offensive threat based on pure hustle alone, Wallace was virtually left unguarded by many opponents last season. Just three years ago, Wallace boasted a 3-point percentage of 37 percent, but he barely made 28 percent of his attempts in his lone season in Brooklyn while missing 13 games with his usual variety of bumps and bruises.
If Celtics fans are paying attention — and Wallace actually stays in green for any meaningful time — “Crash” should become a fan favorite in Boston. Team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge would be best off moving Wallace, of course, but the three years and $30 million remaining on Wallace’s deal will make him a tough sell. If the Celtics are stuck with him, at least they know he will join a group of veterans in Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and Keith Bogans who would sooner quit the NBA to flip burgers than complain about anything.
Wallace will not be the starting small forward in Boston. That is for sure. Jeff Green has a stranglehold on that spot. But Wallace is more than respectable as a backup and should push Green to greater heights, knowing a proven professional who gives maximum effort at all times is right there, waiting to steal his playing time. Wallace can also play a little power forward in smaller lineups, which the Celtics figure to use with Jared Sullinger or Kelly Olynyk manning the five spot occasionally.
To kick off the official start of the NBA offseason, NESN.com will ask fans whether they think the Celtics should keep or move on from each player. The following day, we will provide the fans’ verdict. Here is the schedule*:
Monday, July 15: Rajon Rondo (Verdict: Keep him, 67 percent)
Tuesday, July 16: Courtney Lee (Verdict: Move on, 52 percent)
Wednesday, July 17: Shavlik Randolph (Verdict: Keep him, 60 percent)
Thursday, July 18: Jeff Green (Verdict: Keep him, 92 percent)
Friday, July 19: Gerald Wallace
Monday, July 22: Kris Humphries
Tuesday, July 23: Keith Bogans
Wednesday, July 24: Fab Melo
Thursday, July 25: Jared Sullinger
Friday, July 26:
Monday, July 29: MarShon Brooks
Tuesday, July 30: Jordan Crawford
Wednesday, July 31:
D.J. White Phil Pressey
Thursday, Aug. 1: Colton Iverson
Friday, Aug 2: Kelly Olynyk
*Subject to change pending any moves
Photo via Facebook/Gerald Wallace