Even owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King have to be relentlessly pinching themselves after their Brooklyn Nets were able to construct such a steal of a trade with the Boston Celtics.
That’s how unfathomable it is that the Nets were able to acquire two future Hall of Famers in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, as well as the dangerously streaky shooter that is Jason Terry, in exchange for assets they didn’t envision having any role in their growing success – Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, Gerald Wallace, Tornike Shengelia, Marshon Brooks, Kris Joseph and future first round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Boston will do Brooklyn the league’s biggest solid once this deal officially goes through at the beginning of next month, as is presumed. With the exception of the ‘18 draft pick, and potentially the ‘16 one – because they’re far down the line – the pieces Brooklyn will include were all more than expendable.
Shengelia and Joseph were nothing but insurance policies. Brooks repeatedly failed to crack the rotation and was basically held in a case that read “Break Glass If Scoring Drought Is Absolutely Ridiculous.” Bogans suddenly turned into a DNP during the playoffs. Humphries wasn’t a $12 million player even if he found his way back into the starting lineup. And it was clear after one season that committing $40 million to Wallace over four years despite having so many other scoring options around him reeked of pure desperation.
Brooklyn is simply elated to unload all these roster pieces. What the Celtics will send them back converts that elation to endless backflips. Age still isn’t a concern, as Garnett averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last season, while Pierce was good for 18.6 points and 6.3 rebounds.
Terry, who is basically the forgotten man in all of this, averaged a solid 10.1 points and shot 37% from three point range in 2012-13, as well. He’ll provide the Nets with a consistent scoring threat off the bench, which they were in desperate need of.
Pierce and Garnett, however, are the names that make this trade seem completely unreal.
Who would’ve thought that the Celtics, an Atlantic division rival, would be the ones that would help the Nets and their former star player now turned head coach, Jason Kidd, put together, on paper, what appears to be the most potent starting lineup in the league?
Certainly not King or Prokhorov.
Not even in their wildest dreams.