6 People who turned their backs on the Portland Trail Blazers

Disgruntled players and bad GMs left the franchise reeling, whether it was after they left or while they were still in Portland.

Neil Olshey (left), Damian Lillard; Portland Trail Blazers
Neil Olshey (left), Damian Lillard; Portland Trail Blazers / Steve Dykes/GettyImages
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Gerald Wallace

During his prime years, Gerald Wallace was one of the best defenders in the NBA. He was long, strong and one of those proverbial "played with his hair on fire" kind of guys. He was a First-Team All-Defense selection in 2009-10.

He spent part of that defensive peak in Portland, but he didn't stay long.

The Trail Blazers acquired him from the Charlotte Bobcats in a deadline-day trade in 2011. The following season was the last year of a five-year, $48 million deal he signed with Charlotte that included a player option for the fifth season.

Less than a year after the trade, Wallace publicly announced he was going to decline his player option and wouldn't be signing an extension with Portland.

Rather than try to work out a new contract in the offseason, the Blazers dealt Wallace to the then-New Jersey Nets for Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and a 2012 first-round pick.

Things worked out swimmingly for Portland, though. Wallace's career went downhill after that and he ended up in Boston as part of the ill-fated Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett trade. And who did the Trail Blazers take with that 2012 first-round pick?

A point guard named Damian Lillard.