Brooklyn acquires Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry for a 2014 1st round pick (whichever is worst between Brooklyn and Atlanta), 2016 and 2018 (unprotected) 1st round picks, MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph, and Kris Humphries.
For the Nets:
Their title odds jumped from 50-1 to 25-1. Clearly, they are much better, and much older. Adding three 35+ year old players to your rotation who all have a ring will do that. Brooklyn will be better on defense. They’ll be able to score easier with better floor spacing. KG will be able to give them both minutes at power forward and back-up center. Pierce is a big upgrade on the artist-formerly-known-as Gerald Wallace and Terry will slide in as the 6th man. They are positively better, and a threat to win the East and the title. On the downside, they are pretty slow and unathletic. They may only get one shot at this as KG is a possibility to retire and Pierce will become a free agent after the season. Jason Terry was pretty bad last year and expecting him to be magically improved is probably wishful thinking. They give up 3 first round picks, the latter 2 could potentially be lottery picks if the Nets get old and bad quickly.
For the Celtics:
If you are going to start over, do it all at once if you can. They did. They’ll be really bad next season. But they may hit the lottery and may end up with a couple of lottery picks and also get future picks to play with. They were going to be average at best next year and would have probably lost KG and possibly Pierce at season’s end for nothing if they didn’t make a deal. On the downside, they traded away a guy they drafted and cheered for 15 years. That hurts.
Both teams win. Nets are going for a title. It doesn’t always work, but can’t be mad at them for trying, can you? I think they are a legit contender now. They weren’t winning a title with current roster and didn’t have a lot of wiggle-room to get better. Celtics fans have the right to be sad and angry, but pulling the plug last year would have made this easier, and they are lucky they didn’t wait another year.
New Orleans trades Nerlens Noel and a first round pick next year (top 5 protected) to Philadelphia for Jrue Holiday.
For the Pelicans:
You had money to spend and you went out and traded two draft picks for an all-star point guard. Jrue Holiday is probably one of the NBA’s underrated stars, but his ceiling might be a borderline top 20 player. Still, combining him with Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon (if he can ever stay healthy) is a good start to trying to establish a perennial playoff team. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will make them a playoff team this year, so there is risk that they gave up two high picks and maybe two really good players for one. They also traded big for small, a no-no usually.
For the Sixers:
They decided they are going nowhere now, and dealt away their best player, but not a franchise player. They acquired a potentially great big man and a draft pick that should be very high next year in a loaded draft. It also insures they are likely to stink increasing their odds to land the top pick next year. They could march out a lineup to start 2012 that looks like: PG Michael Carter-Williams, SG Evan Turner, SF Andrew Wiggins?, PF Thad Young, and C Nerlens Noel. And potentially that Pelicans pick too and plenty of money to spend. It could be a quick turnaround if everything goes right.
Again, both teams can win. New Orleans paid a premium price, but they added an all-star point guard that will compliment it’s best players, and should have them competing for the playoffs now, and potentially more within a couple of years. Philly just hit the reset switch rolling the dice on a couple of high picks, gambling they’ll turn out better than a team led by Holiday.