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NBA Rumors: Portland Trail Blazers, Offering Gerald Wallace, Join Dwight Howard Trade Talks with Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets

The trade the Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets have discussed involving Magic center Dwight Howard going to New Jersey has expanded to include the Portland Trail Blazers, who would trade combo forward Gerald Wallace to the Magic in exchange for draft considerations from the Nets, report Chad Ford and Marc Stein of ESPN New York. Such a trade would bring Wallace, a one-time All-Star, and Nets center prospect Brook Lopez to Orlando in exchange for Howard. The trade would also allow the Magic to rid themselves of Chris Duhon and Hedo Turkoglu, whose long-term contracts otherwise impede Orlando's efforts to rebuild.

The question Orlando must grapple with--and, at the moment, its answer seems pretty clear--is whether receiving a 29-year-old former All-Star and a young seven-footer, plus shedding two unfortunate contracts, is nearly enough to offset losing a once-in-a-generation center talent.

I understand Wallace's appeal, as he's a solid--if a bit overrated--defensive player who's also an above-average athlete. But even acquiring him to pair with Howard wouldn't put Orlando over the top. Wallace's per-minute scoring, rebounding, and shot-blocking dipped last season from its 2009/10 levels, as did his shooting percentages from the field, three-point range, and the foul line. He's clearly declining, and the upshot to landing him in addition to Lopez is the salary-cap relief he can offer when his contract expires in 2013.

Ken Berger of CBS Sports cites a source saying Orlando is "not in a rush to do anything." According to Berger's report, "The scenario as currently constructed with Wallace joining Lopez in Orlando as the primary pieces is not enough to persuade the organization to move forward with the deal quickly, the person said."

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