Bay Area

The trade that made the new-look Portland Trail Blazers

Remember the 2012 trade that the Portland Trail Blazers did? It may very well be the best trade the franchise ever makes for the foreseeable future.

Year: 2012

Teams: Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey Nets

Players (Blazers): Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, and a 2012 first-round pick

Players (Nets): Gerald Wallace

The Nets made the deal to appease point guard, Deron Williams in an attempt to build a team around him (and Dwight Howard). The Trail Blazers acquired expiring contracts and a top-3 protected pick without using any cap space or giving up a young asset.

As history writes out the trade, Wallace loses much, if not all, his basketball ability and becomes a shadow in a Nets’ uniform. The Trail Blazers, however, shed the contracts and procure Damian Lillard with the pick.

It essentially becomes Damian Lillard for Gerald Wallace. On paper, this must be one of the top-10 lopsided trades in modern-day NBA. Of course, it’s hard to really be jealous of Portland. This is the same franchise that lost on Greg Oden in 2007 and again when franchise star, Brandon Roy, retired early due to injuries. It’s a franchise that did plenty of losing before some actual good karma repaid the favors.

But, the trade was Lillard for Wallace. Now, Lillard is the Trail Blazers’ franchise. Never mind LaMarcus Aldridge‘s impact, the excitement for Trail Blazers’ fans must be centered around Lillard. He’s Roy 2.0. Hell, he’s Roy and Oden 2.0. He’s the most explosive point guard in the Western Conference not named Russell Westbrook. It is amazing to revisit this trade due to team needs and see what came out of it.

The Nets never saw the same Wallace that made him popular as a Charlotte Bobcat and the Trail Blazers were paid back for the price they paid for Oden and Roy. Now, the Trail Blazers, with the help of Lillard, are a legitimate threat for the Western Conference Championship.


Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a sports and video game journalist born and raised in Southern California. He is great at finding the important detail in the mundane and ordinary. He has published articles for Riot Games,,,, and SBNation.


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