With all eyes on the wheeling and dealing going on in the NBA draft, the Nets pulled off the biggest trade of all. The Nets agreed to send Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks and first-round picks in the 2014, 2016 and 2018 NBA Draft to Boston in exchange for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. The package will likely be broken up into separate trades to meet league rules. The deal can't be made official by the NBA until July 10.
It's a blockbuster deal for the Nets, who suddenly have emerged as legitimate Eastern Conference contenders. Garnett fills the team's gaping hole at power forward. Pierce is an instant upgrade at small forward and will take a significant amount of the scoring burden off of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez. For the Celtics, offloading Garnett and Pierce followed the departure of coach Doc Rivers to the Clippers earlier this week. As part of the compensation for Rivers, Garnett and Pierce, the Celtics have acquired four extra first-round picks over the next three years.
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, because the $15.3 million team option the Celtics had on their longtime captain is used in the trade. Garnett waived his no-trade clause after the Nets agreed to fully guarantee the $12 million owed to him for the 2014-15 season, the third year of his contract. Prior to the agreement, the Nets could have bought out Garnett for $6 million.
The Nets have also hired Jason Kidd as their new head coach. Kidd signed a three year deal worth an undisclosed amount of money. "This is a tremendous opportunity to be named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, and it's a role I have been studying for over the course of my playing days," said the 40-year-old Kidd, who retired as a player earlier this month. "Championship teams are built on being prepared, playing unselfishly and being held accountable, and that's how I expect to coach this basketball team. I am truly excited about this next phase of my basketball career."
Former New Jersey Nets head coach Lawrence Frank will return to the franchise as an assistant under Kidd. The Nets said Friday they also agreed to terms with assistants Roy Rogers, Eric Hughes and holdover Doug Overton to fill out the staff of their rookie coach.
With all the moves being made this offseason, the Nets should become a serious contender out of the east next year.