“Today, the basketball gods smiled on the Nets,” said Nets Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov in a press release. “With the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, we have achieved a great balance on our roster between veteran stars and young talents. This team will be dazzling to watch, and tough to compete against.”
“We are excited to welcome Kevin, Paul and Jason to Brooklyn” said King. “All three players have championship pedigree and posses the veteran qualities that will make us a stronger team.”
The Nets get Garnett, Pierce, and Terry as well as D.J. White in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph and first-round picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018. The 2014 pick will be the Hawks’ or Nets pick, whichever is worse, as part of the Joe Johnson trade from a year ago. The Celtics also have the option of swapping picks with the Nets in 2017.
The deal wasn’t finalized until Friday because Joseph wasn’t eligible to be traded until a full three months after he signed with the Nets which was on April 12.
The trade increases the Nets payroll for next season, but at the same time it decreases their commitments in 2015-16, the final year of Wallace’s contract. Garnett is owed $24.43 million over the next two seasons while Pierce has just one year and $15.3 million remaining on his deal and Terry has two years and $11.48 left on his pact. Overall the Nets have $102.29 million in commitments with an expected luxury tax hit of about $83 million.
Garnett and Pierce are both expected to be starters for the Nets next year. Garnett will play center, he averaged 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per 36 minutes while shooting 49.6-percent from the floor. Pierce will play small forward, he averaged 20.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per 36 minutes last season while shooting 43.6-percent from the floor. Terry will play backup to Joe Johnson. He averaged 13.6 points, 3.4 assists and 2.7 rebounds per 36 minutes a year ago while shooting 43.4-percent.
The trio are big upgrades over what the Nets are giving up. Humphries and Wallace both began last season as starters, but due to injuries and general ineffectiveness both players went back and forth between starting and the bench. Bogans also saw some time as a starter, but usually to replace Wallace and he added very little offensive value. Brooks started in just two games because of his inability to play consistent defense. He was a dynamic young scorer with good potential, but this team is clearly in win-now mode and obviously felt like he wasn’t ready for a large role on a championship contender.
The deal initially was rumored to have Reggie Evans and not Brooks included in the deal, but it seems like a better fit for the Nets that it worked out this way. They really didn’t have a strong rebounding presence besides Evans on last year’s team and even though they got Garnett as part of the deal at this age in his career he’s not going to be able to play big time minutes. Evans averaged just 6.6 points per 36 minutes last season, but had a whopping 16.3 rebounds per 36 minutes.
On paper the Nets now look very good. Maybe not Miami Heat good, but that seems like something we’ll have to wait for the playoffs before determining. The main issue now is how these players gel on the court. Age and injuries are also concerns considering the youngest of the three players they are getting is 35. But Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov promised to bring Brooklyn a championship within five years and this deal likely represented his best chance to do just that.