ESPN Kevin Garnett has agreed to waive his no-trade clause, clinching an agreement on a trade that will land Paul Pierce, Garnett and Jason Terry with the Brooklyn Nets, sources close to the process told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard on Thursday night. Garnett waiving the no-trade clause was the last step to sealing the deal, sources said. No trade between the teams can officially be consummated until July 10 — when a league-wide moratorium on signings and trades is lifted after free agency begins Monday — but the teams made fast progress on finalizing the trade parameters. Brooklyn has agreed to send 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 to the Celtics for Pierce, Garnett and Terry, a source told Broussard. It was initially reported that Brooklyn had included Tornike Shengelia and Reggie Evans, but the source said that the Joseph and Brooks were in the final tally. By agreeing to add Terry to the trade, sources said, Brooklyn alleviated some of Boston’s concerns about absorbing the remaining three years and $30 million on Wallace’s contract. Because Pierce is making nearly $17 million this season, Brooklyn needs the deal to wait until after the start of free agency and the lifting of the moratorium on July 10, since the $15.3 million team option the Celtics had on their longtime captain is used in the trade. In 2014, Boston gets either Brooklyn’s pick or Atlanta’s pick, whichever is worse. And in 2017, Boston has the right to swap picks with Brooklyn, a source said. Nets general manager Billy King laughed when asked about the agreement in principle, but when asked if he could say anything about it, King replied, “Nothing.” King repeatedly said he would not comment on the agreement. “Guys, honestly, I can’t go any further than this. Honestly, you can ask all the questions. Honestly, I can’t. At the time that it’s appropriate, I will address it if possible, but at this time, I can’t,” King said. Sources told ESPN.com the Nets hatched the idea of trying to acquire both Boston stalwarts in the same deal because Pierce’s inclusion was seen as the surest way to persuade Garnett to waive his no-trade clause. The addition of Garnett and Pierce to the trio of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez would appear to give the Nets one of the most formidable rosters in the NBA under rookie coach Jason Kidd. Earlier this offseason, Boston denied the Nets permission to contact then-head coach Doc Rivers, who eventually left to coach the Los Angeles Clippers. “I knew it come coming,” said Rivers of the blockbuster trade involving Garnett and Pierce. “Danny and I had talked about that over the last three or four weeks. I knew all this was going to happen. It’s obviously sad whenever an era or time ends and it has now. That’s the sad part.” The Celtics now are a team in transition looking to accelerate the rebuilding process by chasing draft picks and creating cap space. After news of the proposed trade, Sportsbook.com dropped the Nets’ odds to win the NBA title from 50-1 to 25-1.
Are the Brooklyn Nets now title contenders? General Manager Billy King had better hope so, because there is no future in Brooklyn, the future is now. The Nets mortgaged their entire future for the 37-year-old Garnett and the 35-year-old Pierce, two future Hall-of-Famers with a ton of combined miles. A roster of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez looks impressive, but can they really compete with the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference. The Nets now have no draft picks to build around their star filled starting five and just have Mason Plumlee and Jason Terry for depth.
The “Big Three Era” is officially over in Boston as the Celtics traded longtime stars Garnett and Pierce, gutting their roster. When head coach Doc Rivers left Boston to coach the Clippers, we knew it was only a matter of time before Pierce and KG were traded. They will now rebuild around a core featuring Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and Avery Bradley. It will be interesting to see if the Celtics front office decides to build around or trade the notoriously difficult Rondo. Fans on Boston need to prepare themselves for a “Tank-For-Wiggins” season, as they begin their rebuilding effort, and look for a Face-of-the-Franchise.