It may seem a little typical of a 31-year old veteran that would rather be playing for a title contender, but Celtics forward Gerald Wallace seems more content at this point in the season staying in Boston than earlier when he was trying to find a quicker way out. According to an interview with CSNNE.com, Gerald Wallace is content in not seeking a buyout and will stick it through with the Boston Celtics for now and in the future. The Celtics acquired Wallace as part of the blockbuster trade package on draft night from the Brooklyn Nets.
The biggest concern with Wallace is the fact that he has a real hefty contract that would be hard to sell to other teams as he is owed $20.2 million for the next two years with the Celtics. I do admire the veteran leadership that Wallace brings to the Celtics with his scrappy play coming off the bench and his relentless efforts he brings to the court every night. If he didn’t play the way he has been all season, then it would’ve looked like that his contract is completely wasteful. Wallace scored eight points, grabbed three rebounds and dished two assists in a losing effort to the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night. It may not seem like much, but keep in mind that Wallace played with back spasms and the Celtics were already shorthanded with Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo and Vitor Faverani out.
Gerald Wallace is making a mature veteran decision and will stick it out with the Celtics going forward.
“My mom said never complain about the situation you are in,” said Gerald Wallace. “You can’t control it. It’s nothing I can do about it. I just have to take it in stride and move forward. My focus is on helping these guys become better players, help them build, help them understand what it takes to have a successful career in the NBA.”
Granting Gerald Wallace with a buyout won’t pay dividends for the Celtics because they are stuck with paying Wallace with the rest of his guaranteed contract. If they bought out Wallace, the Celtics would instead owe him annually $4 million for the next five years instead of $10 for the next two years. No matter which way you do the math, it still comes out as $20 million owed to him. The only way that the Celtics would be able to get out of that contract is if they took a chance by buying him out and hoping that another team is desperate enough to sign him to a maximum deal. That’s likely not going to happen.
In my mind, I think that Gerald Wallace has come a long way as a leader by example and really showing this young Celtics team how to be successful in tough situations. He is getting the attention of his teammates and coach Brad Stevens.
“Gerald’s been great for us young guys,” said Phil Pressey. “He’s definitely one of this team’s leaders, a guy that leads by example, for sure.”
“He’s just a tough guy,” said Brad Stevens. “Just a tough guy to come out and put it all out there like that.”
It didn’t appear that Gerald Wallace even wanted to come to Boston after he was traded here from Brooklyn. He missed his introduction press conference, media day and didn’t even arrive in Boston until the day before training camp. He was often complaining to the media about the Celtics’ lack of effort on the court to win games. It started up in Montreal back in October after a preseason loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and trust me, it was a long flight back home to Boston.
But as the season has been progressing, Wallace is showing that he is a much different player now than he was earlier in the season and wants to see the rest of his tenure in Boston all the way through.
“That ain’t my thing,” said Gerald Wallace when asked about buyouts. “My thing is wherever I’m at, I’m gonna play and make the best of the situation and hopefully something changes or something. If not, I’m satisfied with the situation that I’m in.”
In just a matter of one season, it looks like that Wallace is the right veteran player that this young Celtics team needs and they are going to be a much better basketball team because of his presence.