NBA Draftnight 2013 proved to be a revolutionary day in Brooklyn Nets basketball as the Nets agreed in principle to a blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics. In this trade, Brooklyn acquired aging stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. Boston received Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, and three future first-round draft picks. While Brooklyn was already a 4th seed playoff team this past season, this trade certainly gives the Nets an opportunity to leapfrog past at least three Eastern Conference playoff foes: Chicago, New York, and Indiana.
Provided that Brooklyn Head Coach Jason Kidd can push the right buttons and figure out how to implement all of these new pieces, this could potentially be the best team ever assembled in Nets history. With the presence of Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche already playing the center position, Garnett can move to his natural position at power forward. “The Big Ticket” won’t be expected to defend the biggest players on the court anymore, and KG won’t have to log heavy minutes during the regular-season, making him physically ready for another deep playoff run.
As for Pierce and Terry, they won’t be expected to carry the bulk of the scoring load on a consistent basis for the Nets. And with both players turning 36 years-old by the start of next season, this will certainly be a welcomed relief. The backcourt duo of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson will still remain the focal point of Brooklyn’s offense.
For the Celtics moving forward, General Manager Danny Ainge has committed to rebuilding his aging roster. By gutting his core unit, including former Head Coach Doc Rivers, Ainge was able to acquire a total of four future first-round draft picks in less than a week. In addition to Boston’s first round picks from last year (Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger) and their first-round trade with Dallas to acquire center Kelly Olynyk this year, the Celtics are clearly sacrificing their present standing in exchange for a youth movement of the future.
There are big questions now facing the Boston Celtics: What will they do about their head coaching vacancy, and, what will the future hold for point guard sensation Rajon Rondo. I personally don’t think the Celtics are in a rush to decide the fate of their only marquee player. Ainge should hold off, wait to see how Rondo rehabilitates from his ACL tear, and more importantly, give these young players a chance to develop their skills with the help of a top-five NBA point guard in the mix. The young big men of Boston desperately need a pass-first point guard like Rondo who can put them in a better position to score. Avery Bradley is clearly not ready to be a full-time starter, so if Rondo leaves, the cubbard is completely bare. Not to mention, would anyone even bother to watch Boston if they had nobody of note that was still on the roster? It would be a real struggle to sit through an entire season of terrible basketball for even the most passionate of Celtic fans.
So as the NBA cycle of life continues, the end of one team’s dominant era may be the beginning of a new team’s dominant run. The Celtics were able to capture one NBA championship and one Eastern Conference championship during their run with Garnett, Pierce, Allen, and Rivers. Brooklyn would be very fortunate if they can achieve similar success as Boston with the Miami Heat standing in the way as the current NBA title holders. Time will tell if Brooklyn can eventually overthrow Miami while using some of Boston’s old pieces to build their own championship puzzle.