Nothing is OFFICIAL until July 10th– the end of the free agency moratorium period – because the Nets Keith Bogans has to be signed to a new contract first, but there’s a deal between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets that would send Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry from the Celtics to the Nets in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans, sign-and-trade Bogans, and three first round picks (2014, 2016 and 2018).
This move goes to show that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is serious about winning an NBA championship now, by any means necessary and that money isn’t an object. He’s giving GM Billy King the green light and that he better see results. To us it might look good that King and new head coach Jason Kidd have it good, but like I said in a recent blog, Prokhorov has deep pockets…but he also short on patience. King and Kidd have total access, but they better make every move count.
The Nets are pushing forward and willing to pay a huge luxury tax bill. Their new starting lineup – Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Pierce, Garnett and Brook Lopez – is set to make more than $82 million next season (the cap is at $58.o44M; next season its estimated at $60M).
The Nets will definitely have a whole new look and culture on the team. When healthy, Pierce gives them much better spacing and shooting at small forward than Wallace did, and Garnett is obviously a huge defensive upgrade for a team that ranked 19th on that end of the floor last season.
The Celtics are obviously taking a huge step backward. General manager Danny Ainge has finally hit the reset button on his roster, and rightfully so. Boston was a mediocre squad even before Rajon Rondo tore his ACL in late January. With no guarantee that Rondo will be 100 percent next season, no way to make significant improvements with Pierce’s and Garnett’s salaries still on the payroll, and a strong draft class coming up in 2014, now is the right time to be bad. I don’t think the C’s fire sale is over; Rondo cannot be happy with the release of Pierce and Garnett and he has to be looking at the lineup that he has with disappointment. Do not be shocked if Ainge is looking for buyers to take on Rondo’s contract. The latest rumor I’ve heard is Mark Cuban is interested in Rondo wearing a Mavericks uniform.
So who made out on this deal? Right now, I have to say the Nets because they have a playoff contending team and they just added future Hall of Fame players to upgrade it. Now the question is does coach Kidd have the knowledge in him and around him (assistant coaches) to help him regulate Garnett and Pierce’s playing time so they can last the season and be ready for the playoffs. I think you cannot play Garnett no more than 25-30 minutes a night and Pierce even less. In the long-term, I think you have to give it to Boston, they got rid of contracts, received expiring contracts and have quality draft picks they can use in the future to use for themselves or in another blockbuster trade.
Even though it looks like the Cs are having a fire sale and tearing down the team, but they still have some quality players in Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass. It is exciting to see what transpires during the off-season.