Boston Celtics execute blockbuster trade with Brooklyn Nets
Rumors surfaced a few hours before the draft began that the Nets were speaking with the Celtics about a trade that would send Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn. The rumors quickly developed into a distinct reality, as the trade materialized quickly and was executed before the end of the draft.
The Nets received the big names in the deal, landing future Hall of Fame players in Garnett and Pierce, as well as Jason Terry.
In return, the Celtics received Gerald Wallace, Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries, and Keith Bogans to go along with three first-round draft picks (2014, 2016, 2018).
This deal is a major win for the Nets, whose goal is clearly to contend for a title next season. They are bringing three experienced veterans with championship rings to Brooklyn, and they are sure to bring a winning culture to the locker room. In addition, they were able to dump the contract of Gerald Wallace, who is coming off his worst season since he was 21 years old (averaged 7.7 points, 39.7% shooting) and is set to make more than $20 million over the next two seasons. While Evans and Humphries are both solid contributers, they are also both replaceable. The Nets drafted Duke's Mason Plumlee on Thursday to aid their loss of frontcourt depth. As for the draft picks, the Nets are planning on each of those being in the late-20's.
Brooklyn's starting lineup now projects to be Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez. It looks like a dangerous lineup on paper, of course we won't know how they will mesh until we see them on the court together. The addition of Garnett alone vastly improves their defense, and they will have a chance to employ one of the most well-balanced offensive attacks in the league. The lowest points per game average of that starting five is 14.8, while the highest is 19.4.
Something else worth noting is that the addition of Garnett and Pierce to the Brooklyn squad could bring some fire into the Nets' rivalry with the New York Knicks. The Knicks have battled those former Celtics for years, and Garnett has a well-documented history with Carmelo Anthony.
The Nets are easily one of the NBA's most intriguing teams entering the 2013-14 season. On paper, it still doesn't look like they'll quite be able to hang with the Miami Heat, but it does appear that they have a shot to make things a little more difficult for LeBron and Co. in the Eastern Conference.