For Brooklyn, it appears that they’re looking to make a run at the championship right now. Or at least they’ll have to, since they just traded for three guys that are nearly as old as their new head coach. For Boston, the fire sale continues as the departure of their coach and best players has left Celtics fans with a bleak outlook for the next few seasons.
This trade between the Celtics and the new look Brooklyn Nets is a BIG one. It’s not too often in today’s NBA that you see several big names switching teams at one time. But if you look at this trade from the perspective of each team, it’s hard to tell if anyone made the right move here.
Yes, the actual players the Celtics received are so collectively unimpressive that we’re just counting them as one piece. In Gerald Wallace they get a guy who once looked kind of good on the Bobcats and has one of the league’s worst contracts, making $30M over the next three years. They get two different guys who spell their names “Kris” (no one wants that), one of which is more famous for his horrendous marriage than for anything he’ll ever do on the hardwood (definitely no one wants that). They also get Keith Bogans, a serviceable player who’s played for seven different teams since 2003. And finally, Aaron Brooks, the one and only solid, young piece this “rebuilding” franchise secured, and he barely played more than 10 minutes per game last season. Not exactly an embarrassment of riches here.
The third piece making his way to Brooklyn is veteran swingman Jason Terry. What the Nets get in Terry is one of the league’s best clutch shooters coming off the bench, but they’re also getting a big fat contract. Terry, a former sixth-man of the year, has three years left and is set to make $5M next season alone. For the Nets’ sake, they better hope this shooter doesn’t suddenly go cold. That’s a lot of coin to fork over for a guy who averages 10 points per game.
What exactly did the Celtics get in this deal? You aren’t hearing much about their side of things, so did they trade the faces of their franchise for a new team hot tub? Boston’s primary gain here was three first round draft picks—in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The only problem being, if the Nets are successful, they will all be late first-rounders. The Celtics are hedging their bets that the pieces they sent to Brooklyn are so old and so expensive, that the Nets will be in shambles in two years and the picks will be early enough to snatch up some quality talent.
Another sure-fire Hall of Famer is heading to Brooklyn in Paul Pierce. The longtime Celtic will don a new uniform for the first time in his career, but is another guy who appears to be on his way out. The man known as “The Truth” has often looked more like “The Vague Possibility” in recent times, as his health has hobbled or sidelined him on several occasions. Pierce hasn’t averaged more than 20 points per game since ’08-’09, but he could serve as solid backup to Joe Johnson.
What Brooklyn is getting in KG is a future Hall of Famer with an unmatched work ethic and a possible lunacy issue. What they’re also getting though, is a 37-year-old whose knees are currently held together by spit and paste. Garnett gives the Nets a stretch four/center option they haven’t had, and brings a ton of leadership to the table, but the window for success with him is closing fast. His current contract expires in 2015, at the end of which he’ll likely decide his days of making rookies crap their pants are over and call it a career.