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New Nets Shaped to Beat the Heat

Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

The first critical move of the Nets’ transformational summer came in the waning days of winter. It came in a curious trade, made at the N.B.A. deadline, for a player who had little chance of affecting the present but who would conceivably brighten their future.

Eight months later, Gerald Wallace is still the most intriguing element in the Nets’ chemical composition, a free radical with the power to shape their still-evolving identity.

Wallace is the Nets’ hustle, their strength, their grit and their versatility. He can guard three positions and anchor a...

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