So, the Nets pulled off the blockbuster deal of draft day with the Celtics. The Nets ship three first-round picks (2014, ’16 and ’18) along with Kris Humphries’ expiring contract, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks and a sign-and-traded Keith Bogans. In return the Nets receive Kevin Garnett (who was contemplating retirement), Paul Pierce (see Garnett) and Jason Terry (long past his prime unless being used as an agitator).
So, to recap, the Nets essentially traded cap space to the Celtics for 3 players. Let’s look at these players:
Kevin Garnett: often injured. Does not understand the rules of setting a pick. Left many hints that he was going to retire. At the least, he said he was too old to participate in the All Star Game any more. How does that fair for an 82 game regular season?
Paul Pierce: streaky shooter. Has lost several steps. One of the better players in the league mainly because of his supporting cast. He is on the downside of his career.
Jason Terry: can be a spark off the bench. But can also be more trouble than he is worth.
What the Nets are hoping is that the core of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce only needed Deron Williams and Brooke Lopez to win a championship. That is a tremendous leap. And, most likely, it has to happen this upcoming season.
Now, if that core stays healthy for 82 games (stop laughing) I feel they will give the Knicks a strong run for the division title. But, does it put them past the Heat and Pacers? Consider that most likely they would be facing those teams in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. How much left in the tank will the Nets have? And even if they get past that, they still would have one more series for the title.
Now, the heart and competitive nature of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce most likely would have gotten them past the Bulls this season. I don’t think it would have taken them much further than that. If the rest of the script played out, they would have faced the Heat in the conference semis. If they got past that, they get the Pacers. Then, the Spurs in the finals. I don’t like them in any of those match-ups given the age of the line-up.
It will be an interesting ride, regardless.
Here is the low-down from ESPN.