When Danny Ainge executed the now infamous trade earlier this summer that involved beloved Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, he was acting to prevent Boston from becoming a barren vessel of basketball talent after the franchise-solidifying duo left.
Pierce and Garnett were starting to get into the years where players mull retirement and Ainge could simply not afford to let them play out the remainder of their career in C’s uniforms, lest the Celtics GM be stuck with losing his best two players for no compensation and left with a middling pool of players to forge a team out of.
Time will tell whether Ainge made the right move (it will mostly come down to how he hits on those extra first-round draft picks), but one thing is for certain, he won’t have to worry about his top two players wearing down because of age.
Jason Kidd doesn’t have the same luxury.
The first-year Nets head coach will be the one to direct Garnett and Pierce this upcoming season in Brooklyn, a contemporary attempting to corral the savvy minds of a 37 and 35-year-old. And while the former Celtic duo is fiercely competitive, Kidd has already tipped off a more conservative strategy in how he deploys his stars.
On Friday, the 40-year-old stated that he has already discussed the possibility of preventing Garnett from playing in contests on back-to-back nights during the regular season.
The reason he would do so, of course, would be to preserve the health of a star whose wear and tear in the NBA dates back to 1995.
It could still be a risky strategy though. The Nets are set to play 20 back-to-backs for the 2013-2014 season, making this plan one that would sit a 15-time All-Star for nearly a quarter of the games of the regular season.
Kidd said nothing was finalized on this front, only that this was one of the ideas “being thrown around” right now.
Still, it could prove interesting to see how this plays out. Garnett is fiercely adverse to missing one game, let alone 20.
Then again, the cagy veteran has not completed a full 82-game slate since the 2004-2005 season.
Kidd is certainly on to something, but if you’re Danny Ainge it’s nice to know that this is a worry you don’t have.