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Celtics and Nets Pull off Blockbuster Trade

by Photo of Kenneth Teape

The Nets and Celtics agreed to a deal to bring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Brooklyn.

Celtics and Nets Pull off Blockbuster Trade

The biggest news during last night's NBA Draft had nothing going on with the players being selected but did involve the team that plays their home games in Barclays Center. The Brooklyn Nets agreed in principle to a trade with the Boston Celtics that could potentially change the NBA landscape. Here is a breakdown of what each team will receive:

Brooklyn Nets Receive: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry

Boston Celtics Receive: Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph and three first-round picks (2014, 2016, and 2018; Boston can also swap first-round picks with Brooklyn in 2017)

As part of the deal, the Nets have also fully guaranteed Garnett’s contract for the 2014-2015 season, ensuring he will make all of the $12 million owed to him. Garnett also had to waive his no-trade clause for the deal to be completed. The trade won't become official until July.

This is a major deal for both teams. It signals the end of an era in Boston and a full rebuilding process being put in motion (expect trade rumors around Rajon Rondo to begin heating up as well). For the Nets, they get older but at the same time bring in veterans that should help their playoff push.

The Nets have basically mortgaged their future to win now and put all their eggs into the Garnett, Pierce and Deron Williams basket. Brooklyn will be even further into cap penalties and have less wiggle room to make changes after this season. Adding Garnett ($11.5 million roughly) and Pierce ($15.3 million roughly) to a starting lineup of Williams ($18.64 million), Joe Johnson ($21.46 million) and Brook Lopez ($14.69 million) will cost the Nets approximately $81.41 million alone; that is an astronomical number and that does not even include the remaining 12 players the Nets by rule have to have under contract.

Trading away three first round picks so far down the road is risky as well for the Nets. They are expected to be non-lottery picks, lowering their value, but if the Nets slip up those can be major assets for the Celtics. The Nets should have also learned from last season what bringing in aging all-stars means; the Los Angeles Lakers found out the hard way with a first round exit from the playoffs and their cross-town rivals New York Knicks realized stacking up on veterans could hurt in the end.

On paper, the Nets now look like one of the best teams in the NBA, but on the court it could be a different story. Five years ago this would almost guarantee the Nets a championship, but nowadays the same cannot be said. Pierce and Terry are both 35 and Garnett is 37; it will be hard to imagine them all staying healthy and productive throughout an 82-game regular season and then more postseason games.

The production for Garnett and Pierce especially have teetered off recently, as Garnett has turned into a jump shooting big man and not much else on offense. Pierce can still be effective, but he is nowhere near the player he used to be even just a few years ago. Both players should be helped by the fact they will no longer be asked to carry a team, but just complement the players around them.

The biggest factor in all of this working is Jason Kidd. The rookie head coach already was dealing with expectations that were probably a little too high and now they are even higher with the trade. Kidd will have his hands full trying to live up to the hype that will be surrounding the Nets from day one. He will have to figure out how to not only mesh all the new players together but get control of the players. He has a close relationship with Williams that will have to become more businesslike. He will also have to gain the respect from Garnett, Pierce and Terry, a former teammate, that is necessary for a head coach. While Kidd has the respect of players as a former player, the shift from being on the court to patrolling the sidelines and coaching is completely different. It will make for an interesting dynamic for the Nets who once again will be grabbing the headlines in New York.

In the end, this isn’t a bad trade for the Nets. With Wallace as a main member of the team, they would not have accomplished more than a four seed most likely; so in turn they traded away three years of that for a chance to be a contender the next two seasons. They have gotten better with the acquisitions they have made but this is still far from a perfect product as wear and tear and age will be a concern.

For the Celtics it should signal the official start to their rebuilding process. It got underway last off-season when Ray Allen jumped ship to play with the Miami Heat and continued when Doc Rivers headed to the Los Angeles Clippers. This was the next domino to fall and Rondo should be next to exit from Boston. Jeff Green and Avery Bradley and last year's first round pick Jared Sullinger will be joined by Brooks and recently drafted Kelly Olynyk as the core for the Celtics moving forward. It is a far cry from the team they had put on the court the past six seasons but change was going to happen eventually. They have more cap flexibility moving forward (especially once Humphries' contract expires) and will certainly be players in the free agent market. The Celtics brass knows based on poor decisions by other teams that it is smarter to break things up sooner rather than later.

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Comments (1)
  1. griselle rodriguez's profile

    griselle rodriguez

    July 26th, 2010 @20:26

    YES!

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