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The Mavs Are Hot For Gerald Wallace

Gerald Wallace doing something against the Spurs that was probably cool.
Eddie Sefko says the Mavs are aiming high in the free agent market.
Still, Wallace is near or at the top of the Mavs' wish list, even though acquiring him will take much more than the mid-level exception, which is expected to be between $5.8 million and $6 million.

Wallace, who averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds for Charlotte last season, is considered one of the top-three free agents left on the board, along with Seattle's Rashard Lewis and Detroit's Chauncey Billups. He will command as much as $10 million annually, which means the Mavericks would have to work a sign-and-trade deal with the Bobcats.

"We're working the phones," president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said Sunday. "We were on it until 2:30 in the morning doing our jobs and knowing what's out there. We got a lot of lines out, and we don't know which one is going to hit.

"We're just going to take our time. It could be a day or it could be a month."

It will be difficult to get anything done with Wallace. Most insiders believe he will stay with Charlotte even though the Bobcats last week traded for Jason Richardson, who plays the same position as Wallace.

The Mavericks would have to ship contracts that match within 25 percent of the starting salary Wallace gets. And the Bobcats would no doubt want hefty value on the players coming their way.
Marc Stein even says Wallace is the Mavs #1 target
The Mavericks' No. 1 target in free agency? Folks in Dallas might have been expecting Mavs killer Matt Barnes, but I'm told it's actually Charlotte's Gerald Wallace...
I LOVE Gerald Wallace. He's a top five defender, good scorer, good rebounder, and I think he's got a little bit of crazy in him too. And hey, look where he does most of his work on offense -- right under the basket. You can never have enough shooters, so I can understand the Mavs interest in acquiring one, but the Mavs two biggest needs in my opinion are a guy (regardless of size) who scores at the rim and yet another defender. Gerald Wallace is both of those things.

One minor problem though - the Mavs aren't alone.
The Bobcats were one of eight teams that contacted Wallace when the NBA's free agency period began at midnight Saturday. Dallas, Orlando, Milwaukee, Detroit, Miami, Portland and Golden State all made inquiries, a person close to Wallace said Sunday.
Two of those teams , Orlando and Milwaukee, are both under the salary cap. That means they don't have to worry about arranging a sign-and-trade with Charlotte, giving them a huge advantage.

Come to think of it, there's another minor issue. What can Dallas offer Charlotte assuming Dallas even could beat out all the other bidders? You can bank on at least having to send 7.5 million the other way. Look at the Mavs payroll situation. Obviously you aren't sending them Josh Howard - and he's a poison pill anyway. You're not sending Devin Harris. Greg Buckner and a resigned Austin Croshere wouldn't be enough. Only one scenario really works in terms of salary and talent.

I don't see anyway Dallas could get Gerald Wallace here without Jason Terry leaving. The salary is right, and, in my opinion, the Bobcats could use someone like Terry on their roster.

Of course, Dallas would be left with a PG rotation of Devin Harris and J.J. Barea. That leaves something to be desired, but there are cheap PG options on the market. Could Dallas get Chucky Atkins with their 1.8 million biannual exception? Steve Blake should be attainable for less than the full MLE. Not exactly sexy options, but when you have just the MLE and biannual to work with, you aren't getting Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams, or even Mike Bibby (vomit).

This is all probably meaningless anyway. With Donnie Nelson wisley hesitant to make major changes to a 67 win team, and Gerlad Wallace having his pick of cities, seeing him in a Mavs uniform is probably a pipe dream.