Friday, June 28, 2013

Breaking Down the Nets/Celtics Trade

By Ryan McDonald(@RonnieMac90)

After the first round of the NBA Draft, the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics have agreed in principle to a trade that sends Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn according to Yahoo Sports.

What the Nets Give Up
Gerald Wallace
Tornike Shengelia
Kris Humphries
Reggie Evans
Keith Bogans
Kris Joeseph
2014 1st Round Pick
2016 1st Round Pick
2018 1st Round Pick

What the Nets Get
Kevin Garnett
Paul Pierce

Jason Terry

A major deal that required Kevin Garnett to waive his no trade clause, which he did late Thursday night. This is has put the Celtics in full rebuilding mode, and expect them to trade Rajon Rondo later in the year as well.

For the Nets though, giving up 3 1st round picks for three aging players? Pierce and Terry are both 35 and Garnett is 37 years old. However, all picks are expected to be non-lottery, which means they’re not as valuable as they would appear. So it’s not as bad as a negative as some are making it out to be.

Then we have the actual players that we gave up and their replacements. Is Kevin Garnett, even at his age, an upgrade over Reggie Evans, who started at power forward for most of the year for the Nets? Absolutely, a huge upgrade. Garnett is a better passer, a better defender, and of course, a better offensive player. Garnett has a great jump shot which will space the floor and allow Lopez to be much more effective than when he was paired with Evans. Garnett also brings the intangibles, he’s a natural born leader and has always been. He plays with maximum effort all the time, which not saying Evans didn’t, but some of this roster needs to start doing more often.

Next up is Paul Pierce replacing Gerald Wallace. Again, Pierce is a much better shooter than Wallace, so he’ll space the floor much better. However, Wallace is the better defender. The Nets will miss Wallace on defense and rebounding, but in scoring and passing, Pierce is superior. It’ll be interesting to see however who the Nets put on the oppositions best perimeter player, which was normally Wallace. Pierce at this point is a bit of a liability on defense, as is Joe Johnson, but hopefully Garnett will help protect the rim and Lopez will continue to develop his shot blocking to make up for Johnson and Pierce’s poor defense.

Jason Terry will most likely assume the role as Deron Williams’ back up and replace CJ Watson who will be lost to free agency. Again, the Nets lose perimeter defense, as Terry has difficulties on defense. But Terry is known for his big shot making, and can shoot off the dribble extremely well still.

The starting line up will be projected to be Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez. With Terry, MarShon Brooks, Mirza Teletovic, and Mason Plumlee off the bench.

With the addition of such aging players, it’s clear that the Nets have Championship or bust for the 2013-2014 NBA season. This means even MORE expectations for rookie head coach Jason Kidd. Already under what was called unrealistic expectations, Kidd will be expected to deliver a Championship this upcoming season. This could end with a short run of Kidd as the Nets’ head coach say the Nets lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs which could easily happen.

If they don’t win a championship this upcoming season, the future is bleak. Terry, Garnett, Pierce, will all be another year older, and their play has already significantly downgraded. As well as Joe Johnson, who seems to have hit and past his prime already. Pierce’s contract expires after the 2013/2014 season, but Garnett’s and Terry’s do not expire till after the 2015/2016 season. Even with Pierce’s expiring contract, the Nets’ payroll will be roughly $84,000,000. Meaning they won’t be able to do anything in terms of free agency. After the 2015/2016, again, the Nets’ payroll will still be $62,000,000, tied up in Lopez, Johnson, and Williams. This means that after this crucial 2013/2014 season, the Nets will not be bad enough to get the few 1st round picks they have left to be lottery picks, but they won’t be good enough to contend for a championship.

Even so, I still think this was a good trade for the Nets. The Nets as constructed with Gerald Wallace, would not contend for a Championship anyway, and they still wouldn’t be bad enough to get into the lottery. The Nets are trading away the next 3 years of being a 4-8 seed in the East, for a shot at being a 1-3 seed and a shot at the NBA Finals.

The trade makes them a better team for this year, and that’s all we can really ask for. They aren’t the favorites to win it all, but they’ve certainly gotten better, and anything can happen.

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