Nets, Celtics Work Out Blockbuster Trade

Paul Pierce (left) and Kevin Garnett have been a regular sight in Boston green since 2008.  Next year will see a big change.

Paul Pierce (left) and Kevin Garnett have been a regular sight in Boston green since 2008. Next year will see a big change.

This fall, for the first time in time in 15 years, the Boston Celtics will be going into the season without Paul Pierce on their roster.  Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry will be teammates next season, but they will be playing in Brooklyn.  Garnett, who vetoed at least one trade last season, agree to waive his no-trade clause and will be suiting up for the Brooklyn Nets.  In exchange for three vets with championship experience, the Boston Celtics will be getting double-double machine Kris Humphries, versatile forward Gerald Wallace and Keith Bogans as well as small forwards Kris Joseph, Tornike Shengelia.

 

Jason Terry will be joining former teammate (now coach) Jason Kidd in Brooklyn next season.  The Nets hope Terry's championship experience will help them compete against the Heat.

Jason Terry will be joining former teammate (now coach) Jason Kidd in Brooklyn next season. The Nets hope Terry’s championship experience will help them compete against the Heat.

The move, coupled with Boston’s drafting of center Kelly Olynyk, leaves Boston with a back log of front-court players that includes last year’s draft picks Fab Melo and Jarrod Sullinger.  Considering how well Evans was rebounding, and the fact that Humphries is on an expiring contract, both players will be excellent trade pieces.  Along with the players, Boston also picked up three first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018, which could prove valuable as Garnett, Pierce and Terry will all be retired by that time and Brooklyn may very well be in rebuilding mode while Boston will have had time to add talent to their roster.

 

Reggie Evans had a historically high rebounding year in 2012/13.  He is an appealing trade piece and may very well not even end up playing for Boston next year.

Reggie Evans was originally reported to have been part of the deal, but it looks like the Nets will be hanging onto the rebounding machine.

Brooklyn no doubt saw the upside in the move.  Depth in the back court with a combo guard in Terry, and two great defenders in Pierce and Garnett.  With Joe Johnson, Derron Williams and Brook Lopez rounding out the starting line-up, it seems Brooklyn may have the talent to contend, but they may find that the aging Pierce and Garnett are not enough to make up for Evans’ dominant rebounding or Wallace versatility (even if Wallace had a bad season last year).  The Nets may have increased their potential for the upcoming season (though not even that much is certain), but the window they have to win with this roster may only be as long as a single season.  Mortgaging your future draft picks and giving up a great rebounder and an expiring contract of a double-double player may prove to be too high a price for what the Nets are getting in return.

 

Danny Ainge: In spirit I am opposed to moving a guy like Pierce, but at the same time, Ainge has put Boston in a great position to build over the next few seasons.

Danny Ainge: In spirit I am opposed to moving a guy like Pierce, but at the same time, Ainge has put Boston in a great position to build over the next few seasons.

The sad part of the deal is that Pierce will not be able to retire having only worn one jersey.  It seems that every generation fewer and fewer players managed to stay with one franchise throughout their entire career.  Only a handful of players who have been in the league for 10 years or more can say they’ve only played for one team, among them: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli (all with the Spurs), Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki.  This past season saw a trade that featured three such players (Jose Calderon, Tayshuan Prince and Rudy Gay) all change teams after having only played for one during the entirety of their respective careers.  It seems like such loyalty is becoming far less commons.  In the past Boston had been famous for their loyalty to their players and let many greats retire having only worn Boston green.  Among them, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Sam Jones, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, K.C. Jones and Bill Russell.  This trend seems to be over though.

 

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