Trading is risky–it can yield successful players or haunt a team for a long time. Different teams have fared differently, but one thing is for a sure; the Brooklyn Nets have not had much success. A prime example of this is when they traded for a star in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The problem was that both of them were aging and they gave up way too many first-round picks. This is known as arguably the worst trade in NBA history.
What the Nets Received
KG was a 37-year-old who was on the way to the end of his career and Pierce was also old at 36. Additionally, they received Jason Terry. Terry was the same age as Pierce but his production was much less than Paul’s; he only averaged 4.5 points. DJ White was another piece of this trade, but his career faded out not long after the trade. Even though he didn’t play that much for Boston, he was still just 26 years old.
The last part of the trade was two 2017 first-round picks.
What the Celtics Received
The Celtics received a lot of low-end players but they did get some great draft picks. They got four first-round picks from the Nets in a deal that set them up for the future. Their first first-round pick was for 2014, while the other three would come in three consecutive years: 2016, 2017, and 2018.
What Happened to the Picks
James Young, the 2014 pick, did not pan out in the NBA. He was a career G league player that only averaged 2.3 PPG in his three-year NBA career.
In 2016, Jaylen Brown was drafted. Brown is a centerpiece of the current Boston Celtics roster. He is averaging 24 on 48% from the field and 39% from downtown. Additionally, he has shown major improvement in his five seasons so far in the league.
Their 2017 pick was traded to the Sixers, who used it to draft Markelle Fultz. Fultz is considered as one of the greatest busts in NBA draft history, being drafted first-overall and underperforming greatly. In return, the Celtics used their pick to draft Jayson Tatum. Tatum is one of the best young players in the league. He is the best player on the Celtics and he also has shown major improvement in his years on Boston’s roster. This season, he is averaging 26 points on 45 FG% and 38% from three.
Collin Sexton was chosen in 2018. This pick was a part of the Kyrie Irving trade from Clevland to the Celtics. Sexton is a reliable point guard who has the potential to improve later on in his career.
KG and The Truth in Brooklyn
One word for KG and Pierce’s time in a Nets uniform is forgettable. For example, the stats show that KG only averaged six points while Pierce only averaged 13 points. Paul’s 13 PPG was a far cry from the 18 PPG he was scoring in Boston. Furthermore, the pair only lasted two years in Brooklyn. Essentially, the Nets traded all of their future assets for players that were only there for two years.
Huge Failure by the Brooklyn Nets or Mini Success?
As the Danny Ainge era ends in Boston and the Brooklyn Nets have three superstars of their own now, it is safe to say that everything has worked out for both teams. They are both playoff teams looking to compete for a championship. In fact, the Nets proved their superiority by beating the Celtics in the first round.
Even though the KG and Pierce in Brooklyn experiment failed, they will both be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame so it all worked out. The Nets experienced a slight setback, but now they have Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant and are serious contenders for the NBA Championship. In the end, it was an immediate failure for the Nets but a long-term win for them. There are two different ways of looking at it.