NBA fans have been in a frenzy since late last night when news broke of the blockbuster trade between the Celtics and Nets. Brooklyn fans have been going crazy all day with high hopes and dreams of a championship, while Celtics fans have been going crazy all day in a much different way. If you can remove yourself from being a fan for a second and look at the trade itself, it actually does make quite a bit of sense for both teams involved. But at the end of the day, what does the trade mean for these two teams and the Eastern Conference as a whole? Hit the jump to read more!!
First, let’s look at what it means for the specific teams involved. For the Nets, it only means one thing, WIN NOW! At first I thought the Nets gave up way too much to get two future hall of famers, who at this point are in the twilight of their careers. Giving up three 1st round picks in future NBA drafts and also contributing players like Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks and a few others sounds like alot, and it is. However, if the Nets can somehow make it to the NBA finals with their new roster, then obviously what they gave up will be more than worth it. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has made it clear he wants to win now and will do whatever it takes, which includes spending any amount of money and paying any amount of luxury tax for being over the salary cap. The main drawback for adding huge contracts of star players who are on the down side of their career is timing. If the Nets do not win a title with this new roster next season, they risk Garnett and Pierce retiring after only one season in Brooklyn. There is no guarantee that their love of the game and their bodies will continue to keep holding up. If that happens then they lost, and they lost big. They could wind up in a rebuilding stage when they never meant to. Basically for Brooklyn, it’s win NOW.
As for Boston, the trade makes sense if a much different way. After Doc Rivers headed for better weather in Los Angeles with the Clippers, the writing was on the wall for the future in Boston. The time to rebuild in Boston is now. Had they kept the same roster with a new coach they likely would of been destined for a first round playoff exit, if they even made the playoffs at all. So rather than try and hold on to a golden era, the franchise knew what time it was. Unloading the contracts of Garnett and Pierce will help out big time as far as freeing up money. Even though they took on some contracts from the players they received from the Nets, in the long run it won’t hurt them as much as it would to keep KG and Pierce. The Celtics are prepared to suffer through a couple down seasons with hopes of rebuilding the franchise with fresh new players to get back to the top. Celtics fans might hate it, but realistic fans of the team will know it was the right time. They also wanted to do right by 2 loyal players in Garnett and Pierce and send them to a team where they will have a chance to compete for a championship. That was out of the question in Boston.
Now the big question. What does this mean for the balance of power in the NBA, especially the Eastern Conference. In two words, NOT MUCH! Chris Rock tweeted something very funny about the trade. He said the Nets traded three 1st round picks to be in 4th place for one season. While that tweet is pretty damn funny, it is also semi accurate. Obviously who knows what place Brooklyn will finish in, but even a casual fan knows they gave up alot to make a strong run at a title for one season. Even with the new additions of KG & Pierce, the Nets will still be behind the Heat & Pacers as favorites to win the east, as well as possibly the Knicks & Bulls. Derrick Rose will return next season for the Bulls, who were pretty good without him and will be even better with their leader. The Knicks have a couple off season questions themselves, but odds are they will enter the season as a stronger favorite than the Nets. So the odds of the Nets making it through the East to be in the finals are very slim. Let’s not forget teams from the west such as Oklahoma City, the Spurs, and the Clippers who now have a great leader in Doc to coach them to a higher level. Once we see where Dwight Howard winds up signing, that could create another powerful team from the west, all of which could be in the way of the Nets reaching the summit and winning an NBA title. Pierce averaged around 18 points per game this past season, which is very solid, especially for a player getting up there in age. But at times he looked very slow and was embarrassed more than a couple times this season trying to guard other players. His presence on the court could also take some shots away from Joe Johnson since they both play a similar type of game. KG will always give his all, just as he did this past season, but sometimes giving your all just is not good enough anymore. Deron Williams is a star point guard, but he can only do so much as well, not too mention he showed at times this past season he can disappear for stretches at a time. At the end of the day time will tell the real effect of this trade, but if the Nets don’t win quickly, then the Celtics would of gotten the better of the deal as they start to rebuild.