When the Brooklyn Nets decided to trade away their future to win right away in 2013, the basketball world couldn’t help but watch how it played out. They were taking a huge risk, but the owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, wanted it to happen.
The Nets went out and acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry for three first-round picks, a first-round pick swap in 2017, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and Keith Bogans. Well, if you haven’t been keeping up with the Nets, that plan has backfired very badly. Paul Pierce left after one season, Kevin Garnett was no where near the level of play he was accustomed to, and Jason Terry was traded away as well. Now, the Nets are 3-11 and their first-round pick in the upcoming draft belongs to the Boston Celtics.
So, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe asked Billy King about the trade:
“We took our shot and it didn’t work,” he said. “And now to see some of these guys develop and to get it back and for us to have the cap space [next summer], we can do it pretty quickly. We want to win but we knew we may take a step back when some of the decisions were made. But what I like is we’ve put ourselves in the position to beat a Golden State, we just didn’t make the right plays. That’s just learning how to win. We’re taking the steps.”
While it’s always nice to stay in an upbeat mood about the situation, the fact that the road to a better future will be a lot longer should not be ignored. King has already made “exploratory” trade calls to other GMs around the league and we’re only about 11 games into the season. The team has looked a little better recently, but they’re inevitably going to stay in the cellar for this season and probably even the next too. A lot of “heavy lifting” is needed to change this team’s fortunes around, and the bad part is that it can’t be done in just one off-season. Imagine how much worse this trade will look if the Celtics end up getting a player like Ben Simmons or Jamal Murray.
H/T: CBS Sports