The New Jersey Nets are nervous. Not only did they learn early Thursday morning that Dwight Howard would remain with the Orlando Magic for the rest of this season and for at least the first part of the 2012-13 campaign, but the team's attention now had to focus on retaining All-Star guard Deron Williams when he opts out of his contract this summer. Without Howard coming on board (in the summer of 2012 at least) there is little incentive for Williams to work his prime years with the Nets on a team that is on pace to win 28 games in what would be a typical 82-game NBA season.
With Williams likely looking elsewhere, to the Dallas Mavericks perhaps, the Nets are getting desperate. "Armed" with GM Billy King at the helm, they've made a bad panic trade to send Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and a barely protected 2012 pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for Gerald Wallace. According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, who first broke news of the deal, if the pick falls outside of the top three in the draft (technically a likely situation, considering New Jersey is slated to have the best statistical shot at the fifth pick in the draft), the pick is all Portland's. Panic moves don't come much more panicky, friends, and we'd like to welcome the Billy King we knew from back in Philadelphia back to the NBA scene.