Source: Nets acquire Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce in blockbuster deal with Celtics
Two-thirds of the Celtics' former Big Three is Brooklyn- bound.
In a bold blockbuster move that should shake up the Eastern Conference landscape, the Nets have struck a deal with the Celtics to land veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, a league source confirmed Thursday night.
The deal reportedly sends Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Reggie Evans, Keith Bogans and three first-round picks scattered over the next five years to the Celtics. Bogans reportedly would be included as part of a sign-and-trade agreement and the Nets would receive Garnett, Pierce and guard Jason Terry.
The complex deal, which picked up considerable steam throughout the day leading up to Thursday night's NBA draft at Barclays Center, can't be officially announced until July 10, when the NBA's moratorium on player transactions is waived. The initial hang-up centered around waiting for Garnett to waive his no-trade clause, but word broke late Thursday night that the power forward had agreed to team with Pierce in Brooklyn under new Nets coach Jason Kidd.
A starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Pierce and Garnett certainly is a massive upgrade to the Nets' main unit, giving them more offensive firepower.
Replacing Wallace and Evans with two future Hall of Famers who are five years removed from winning a championship -- even if they're on the downside of their careers and might not have all that much left in their respective gas tanks -- was an opportunity the Nets believed they couldn't turn down.
Pierce, 35, averaged 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists this past season and is scheduled to earn $15.3 million in 2013-14.
Garnett, 37, averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. He has two years and $24 million remaining on his pact.
The Nets reportedly would send their first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 to Boston, helping the Celtics in their full-blown rebuilding efforts.
Nets general manager Billy King refused comment on the deal, cracking jokes whenever an inquiry about the trade was made. "I'm here to talk about Mason [Plumlee, whom the Nets drafted Thursday night]. That's all I can really talk about at this point in time,'' he said. "At the time when it's appropriate, I will address it if possible. But at this time, I can't."
Asked if Thursday night's events made the Nets a title contender, King quipped: "Mason gives us a better chance," and the room erupted to laughter.
Terry's inclusion in the deal reportedly offsets concerns the Celtics have about taking on Wallace's hefty salary, and he'd give the Nets some scoring punch off the bench.
Wallace has three years and $30 million left on his contract. His production dipped dramatically in his first full season with the Nets, and he said he lost his confidence and wasn't sure about his role on the team.
Although Wallace is a good defender who doesn't mind doing the grunt work and Evans is a rebounding machine, both were exposed at times offensively.
Teams -- particularly the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs -- dropped off both players, forcing the Nets to play three-on-five on myriad occasions.