In a blockbuster move, the Boston Celtics have agreed in principle to ship Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for three 1st round draft picks (2014, 2016, 2018), Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans, Marshon Brooks, Kris Humphries, and Kris Joseph.
I’m a die-hard Nets fan, and I’ll be honest…I still don’t know how I feel about this trade.
At first I hated it, and then I liked it. Then the more I thought about it, I loved it, and then though about it some more, and then didn’t like it nearly as much.
So here are my thoughts on this Boston/Brooklyn NBA blockbuster move.
For the Celtics, I think it was actually a pretty good move. With Kevin Garnett’s no trade clause, the Celtics only had a few possible trade partners to work with.
After shipping Doc Rivers off to the Clippers, it was pretty obvious that Boston had gone into rebuilding mode. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were the heart and soul of this team for the past fewyears, but they are well past their prime, cost a lot of money, and weren’t in the Celtics plans of the future.
Danny Ainge also managed to get rid of Jason Terry and his bad contract, which is a plus for Boston.
Even though the Nets didn’t send any real pieces back to Boston in this deal, those 1stround picks are extremely valuable. Boston now has two 1st round picks in 4 of the next 5 NBA drafts. With all those picks, the Celtics could have an extremely young, but talented core to build around in the coming years.
Overall, the Celtics did a pretty good job of getting back as much as they could for Pierce and KG. I know Celtics fans wanted them to retire as Celtics, but it’ll all be forgotten in a year or two when the Celtics have a boatload of young talent on the roster.
Side Note: In the Joe Johnson trade last season, the Nets also received the option to switch first round picks with the Hawks in the 2014 and 2015 draft, so if the Hawks suck next year, Boston would receive the better of the two picks.
Okay, onto the Nets.
This move obviously makes them better right now. Paul Pierce is an upgrade at the small forward position over Gerald Wallace, and Kevin Garnett gives them the interior defender/stretch forward that they desperately needed last season.
This move puts the Nets in the upper echelon of teams in the Eastern Conference. You could easily make the argument that they are the second best team behind the reigning NBA Champs, and some could even argue that the Nets have all the right pieces to be able to take down the Heat on paper.
So for the next year or two, the Nets will be right in the middle of the NBA title hunt.
However, the Nets gave up a lot of their future to get Pierce and KG for a year or two. The Nets were already an older team, so losing three 1stround draft picks definitely hurts.
On top of that, the Nets new head coach, Jason Kidd, is going to have to figure out how to mesh all of these personalities together. Kidd is just a year or two older than some of his players, so getting them to respect and listen to him may be an issue. On the other hand though, maybe the fact that Kidd is a former teammate of some of these guys will play to his advantage. Giving a guy with no previous coaching experience a roster like this seems almost unfair. We’ll just have to wait and see how Kidd handles the situation.
As far as the Nets future goes, Pierce only has one year left on his contract and KG and Terry both have two years left, so they will have some cap space open to sign free agents pretty soon. They’ll have to rebuild through free agency and not through the draft, which is always a risky strategy.
So here’s where I’m torn. Obviously, I love the Nets going for it all right now, but is worth sacrificing the future for one or two years?
For a team like the Nets who really haven’t been relevant in the past decade, it very well could be. With the signing of Jason Kidd and this move, there will be more media attention, local and national, on the Nets than ever before. Fans will come out to the Barclays arena every night to watch them play. The Nets have a serious chance to upstage the Knicks next year.
So for that, and the chance to compete for an NBA title, I think I like this trade a little more than I hate it.