Wallace Puts Blazers in Division-Title Discussion

Wallace Puts Blazers in Division-Title Discussion

Carmelo Anthony: Gone.

Deron Williams: Gone.

Jeff Green: Gone.

Gerald Wallace? Headed to Portland.

Welcome to the newly configured Northwest Division, post-trade-deadline version, which suddenly thrusts the Trail Blazers into the division-title discussion.

As part of one of the more memorable trade deadlines in NBA history, the Blazers on Thursday gave away a collection of bit pieces to acquire a star, while the other division contenders shuttled away franchise figureheads, setting the stage for an intriguing two-month close to the season.

Wallace, a chiseled 6-foot-7 forward who is one year removed from an All-Star performance and a spot on the All-NBA Defensive first team, was acquired from Charlotte in exchange for veteran center Joel Przybilla, second-year forward Dante Cunningham and journeyman center Sean Marks.

Charlotte also received the Blazers' first-round pick in 2011 that was acquired from New Orleans in October's trade of Jerryd Bayless, and a first-round pick that is top 12 protected from 2013 through 2015 and unprotected in 2016.

It was the first major move by Blazers first-year general manager Rich Cho, and it was a decisive one.

Wallace, 28, is a superior rebounder, a noted defender and can be an explosive scorer. His statistics are down this season -- 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds -- but three times in the last four seasons he has averaged more than 18 points, including a career-high 19.4 in 2007-08, and last season he averaged 10.0 rebounds.

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