For the past couple of days, we have heard reports of the
Nets and Celtics working on a deal that would bring some big names to Brooklyn.
However, according to an unnamed source the deal is "in the hands of KG and
Boston management now." Due to league rules, no trade can officially be made
until July 10th, but the Nets are anxious to get the deal settled
and simply wait for it to go through.
The supposed deal would send former All-Stars and future
Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, along with former sixth man of
the year Jason Terry, to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for three future
first-round picks (2014, '16 and '18), as well as Gerald Wallace, Tornike
Shengelia, Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries' expiring contract and Keith Bogans,
pending a sign-and-trade deal.
Brooklyn originally only wanted to trade for Pierce and
Garnett, but with three years and $30 million remaining on Wallace's contract,
the Nets added in Terry to alleviate some of Boston's cap space. Garnett is the
man that Brooklyn really has their eyes on, but soon realized the best way to
get the big man to come to Brooklyn was to bring his teammate Paul Pierce with
him, an addition the Nets would be happy to make.
If this trade is completed, new head coach Jason Kidd will
have quite an All-Star roster. With the existing trio of Deron Williams, Joe
Johnson and Brook Lopez, adding Garnett and Pierce into the mix will give the
Nets perhaps the best starting five in the NBA. Between the potential starting
five players, they have a combined 35 All-Star Game appearances, on top of
countless other awards including MVPs, championships, and various other titles.
This trade will definitely boost the Nets to a whole other
level. The Nets were one of the worst teams defensively in the paint last year.
They allowed 43.4 points per game and 55 percent shooting in the paint, which
are both ranked in the bottom 10 in the league. Last year, the Celtics allowed
38.5 points per game in the paint when Garnett was on the floor, compared to
45.2 points per game when Garnett wasn't on the floor. Adding somebody like
Garnett to a team that already has a defender like Brook Lopez can transform
the Nets into one of the best teams defensively.
Another place where the Nets struggled last year was from
behind the three-point line. Shooters like Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both
shot around .375, which is pretty good (that's three out of every eight shots
from deep). However, Gerald Wallace was a whole other story. Wallace shot only
27.3 percent from outside the paint, which was the worst in the entire NBA last
year (min. 200 attempts). He averaged less than one three-pointer per game, and
just over two points per game from outside the paint. Bringing in Paul Pierce
is definitely a huge upgrade. Pierce shot 39.3 percent from outside the paint,
and averaged just fewer than nine points per game from this territory. He also
hit just under two three-pointers a game. Jason Terry can also help the Nets
out from deep. He may be a veteran, but he has the fourth most three-pointers
in NBA history.
As for the Celtics, this will decimate their team. They will
still have All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, but losing Garnett and Pierce
basically admits to the world that the Celtics are in a rebuilding stage. They
are trying to free up cap space and get draft picks to build upon their future.
They already lost their head coach, as Doc Rivers was traded to the Los Angeles
Clippers in exchange for a first-round pick, and if this trade is completed,
that's already four first-round picks acquired by Boston this offseason. This
is honestly a great move for Boston. Garnett, Pierce and Terry are all veteran
players who may not have much more fuel left in the tank. Rather than allowing
them to become free agents, or perhaps retire, they are getting quality draft
picks as well as some average players. They definitely won't be better next
year than they were this year, but they may be a team to look out for in the
This deal seems to make sense for both sides. All I know is,
if I'm Jason Kidd I'm sitting by my phone, smiling, anxiously awaiting a call saying
that the deal went through. Starting his coaching career off with a potential
starting five of Williams, Johnson, Pierce, Garnett and Lopez can quickly earn
Kidd a championship, and solidify him as a coach who will lead his former team
to greatness in the future.