The 2013 NBA Draft is history but the biggest story out of draft night had nothing to do with any of the players who were selected. On the night of the draft word got out that Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry were going to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. The move hinged on Garnett waiving his no-trade clause and the future Hall-of-Famer obliged.
In return the Celtics will receive Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, Reggie Evans, Kris Joseph, Tornike Shengelia and Brooklyn’s 2014, 2016, and 2018 first round picks.
This move follows Doc Rivers moving on from Boston to coach the Los Angeles Clippers and now rumors are swirling that Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo might be traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
The Celtics are in trouble.
That being said, the Nets are in worse trouble. Boston may have taken on the bloated contract of Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries but overall they’re starting over with a pocket full of draft picks. The Celtics had a good run since acquiring Garnett in 2008 and it’s the right time to blow things up. The Nets however made a bold trade for three veterans that have seen better days.
If this were five years ago Terry, Garnett, and Pierce coupled with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez would make the Nets the best team in the league and favorites to win the 2014 NBA championship. That’s not the case. Garnett is an old 37 while Pierce and Terry will each hit 36 before the start of next season.
The trio of Johnson, Williams and Lopez are coming off of an embarrassing game 7 loss at home to a Chicago Bulls team missing Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, and Derrick Rose. For the Nets to be taken seriously as a championship contender those three should take a trip to see the Wizard first.
Brooklyn’s B-movie trade comes on the heels of hiring head coach Jason Kidd, who has never coached a game before.
Sure, adding Garnett, Pierce, and Terry makes the Nets better, but how much better? The Miami Heat are the defending champions and don’t have a peer in sight. The runners-up in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Indiana Pacers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and neither are the New York Knicks. The Chicago Bulls are getting their former MVP back in the line-up as well.
What makes the Nets better than any of those teams? On paper it sounds nice but in reality the roster is full of overpaid former All-Stars who’ve seen better days. Lopez and Williams are in their primes but they’re both glorified stat stuffers.
Can Deron Williams and Brook Lopez lead the Nets to a championship? Is there enough in the tank of Garnett and Pierce to contribute for a long playoff run? Can Jason Kidd win an NBA championship in his first season on the sideline?
If I were a betting man I’d bet no across the board. This knee jerk experiment won’t have legs past next season. Brooklyn must win the championship in 2014 given the ages of their core players, the question is, can they?