AP Source: Nets acquire Wallace from Trail Blazers

TOM CANAVAN AP Sports Writer Published:

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the New Jersey Nets have acquired Gerald Wallace from the Portland Trail Blazers for two injured players and a protected first-round draft pick.

The Nets sent center Mehmet Okur and forward Shawne Williams to Portland along with their own 2012 draft pick. The pick is protected if it is in the top three, according to the person, who requested anonymity because the teams have not announced the deal.

A 2010 All Star, Wallace is averaging 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds in 42 starts. He also is an outstanding defensive forward.

Okur has been sidelined since Jan. 27 with a sore lower back. His value is that his contract, worth $10.9 million, will expire after this season. Williams is out for the year after having surgery on his left foot in early February. He has a year left on a contract that will pay him $3.2 million next season.

The trade came hours after the Nets learned that Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard signed papers Thursday agreeing to waive the early termination option in his contract. It guaranteed that he will be with the team at the beginning of the 2012-13 season, ending any hopes -- for now -- that the Nets might be able to acquire him to be the showcase when the team moves to Brooklyn, N.Y. next season.

Howard had requested to be traded earlier this year and said the Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks were on his wish list.

The Nets felt they had the inside track because they had plenty of cap room and Howard is close friends with Deron Williams, New Jersey All-Star point guard.

The loss of Howard has to make the Nets wonder whether Williams will stay with the team or opt out of his contract after this season.

In acquiring Wallace, the Nets pick up a 29-year-old who has always played hard.

Williams (strained calf) and center Brook Lopez (sprained ankle) are currently sidelined, but when they return, the Nets should have a solid starting lineup with Wallace at small forward, Kris Humphries at power forward and rookie MarShon Brooks at shooting guard.

New Jersey (15-29) has the sixth worst record in the league entering Thursday's action and it probably will be part of the draft lottery, meaning it has a chance to get one of the top three picks.