Source: KG to waive no-trade clause in Nets deal

Source: KG to waive no-trade clause in Nets deal
June 27, 2013, 10:15 pm
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BOSTON — The Big Three era in Boston had to end someday.

That day has arrived with the Celtics agreeing to a blockbuster trade in principle on the eve of Thursday night's NBA draft that will send Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets.

The final hurdle of the deal was cleared Thursday night when a league source told CSNNE.com that Kevin Garnett had agreed to waive his no-trade clause in order to allow for the deal's completion.

In the deal which can not become official until July 10 which is the first day contracts for next season can be signed - one of the players involved in the trade, Keith Bogans, will be included via sign-and-trade - the Celtics will also send the Nets Jason Terry.

Boston gets Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans (through sign-and-trade) and former Celtic Kris Joseph. Originally it was thought that the Celtics were getting Reggie Evans as well, but multiple reports have Marshon Brooks heading to Boston in his place.

"We haven't done anything yet," said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, declining to comment on talks between the C's and the Nets. "That's something we'll talk about in a few weeks."

More significant than the players is the fact that the Celtics will get three first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

According to ESPN.com, the 2016 and 2018 picks would be unprotected while the 2014 pick would be the worst of of the Hawks and Nets first-round picks.

In addition, the Celtics get an opportunity to flip draft positions with the Nets in the 2017 draft if Brooklyn has a higher pick.

"Draft picks are a great way to keep your payroll in check," Ainge said. "So the reason that the payroll is important is not just for dollars. It's also for flexibility. With the new CBA, ... it's a competitive advantage. It's an asset. You have more flexibility. You can do trades easier. You have more money to spend on free agents and exceptions and so forth so it's a competitive advantage as well as just dollars."

Not only does the trade signal the end of the Celtics' Big Three regime, it also means that Ainge kept his word years ago when he said that he wasn't going to make the same mistake Red Auerbach did which was to keep his championship-rich, veteran core players around too long.

To flip Garnett and Pierce and Terry for three first-round picks at a time when so many teams aren't willing to part with them, provides the Celtics with an opportunity to significantly upgrade their roster with some valuable assets quickly.

For Garnett and Pierce, the trade gives them another shot at winning a second NBA title, something that would not have happened had they remained in Boston.

"It's a win-win for those guys, for sure," said an NBA source.

And while it certainly puts some distance between the Celtics and their Atlantic Division rival in Brooklyn, the future of both franchises beyond the next couple of years is radically different.

Boston will likely struggle the next couple of year, but have acquired the kind of assets that gives them the potential to rebound into a competitive team sooner rather than later.

The Nets have one of the best starting fives in the NBA now, but little depth. Throw in a luxury tax bill that'l cost them about $80 million, and it's clear that their window of opportunity to win it all will be a short one.

"They would have to win it all in the next two years," said a Western Conference executive who added that the Nets' future beyond the next couple of years is "shot" after sending so many building blocks of the future - draft picks - to Boston.

As for the players the C's will receive in the deal, certainly the most controversial of the lot is Humphries.

Humphries and current Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo had an incident last season that spilled into the front row of fans near the Celtics bench after Humphries delivered a hard foul to Garnett.

Both players were ejected from the game for their roles, but the league later handed Rondo a two-game suspension related to the incident.