NBA AM: Brooklyn In The Market For Garnett
The 2013 campaign for the Brooklyn Nets ended with a resounding thud as the franchise was eliminated in its first round playoff series versus the injury depleted Chicago Bulls.
The current Nets roster has been dogged recently by a perceived lack of passion which many believe has contributed to the group underachieving as a unit. The first step the organization took to address this area of concern was the hiring of recently retired point guard Jason Kidd to be its next head coach.
While Kidd may lack head coaching experience, there is no denying his competitive spirit, leadership ability and the respect he commands from players around the league.
Keeping with the trend of trying to inject more passion into the locker room, the franchise may be in the market to acquire Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett in a trade.
According to a report by the New York Daily News, Nets general manager Billy King has placed an inquiry to the Celtics front office on the availability of Garnett with Boston likely in the beginning stages of a rebuilding project.
The Celtics recently lost veteran coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers and the team may now be looking to buy out veteran forward Paul Pierce and clear up additional future cap space by shipping Garnett.
While Garnett fits an undeniable need for the Nets, as a fiery leader on and off the court, there are issues which could stop the process before talks get too deep. For starters, Garnett has a no-trade clause option in his current deal which the veteran has refused to waive in the past.
Garnett, 37, is owed $24.4 million over the next two seasons, with the final year only being partially guaranteed ($6 million) in its final season. A package for Garnett would likely center around the Nets shipping forward Kris Humphries to Boston.
Humphries and Garnett are both slated to earn $12 million next season, but Humphries is in the final year of his current deal so he would also help the Celtics clear cap space, which is an undeniable important aspect for a team in the process of rebuilding.
Garnett and Kidd played as teammates during the 2000 Summer Olympics, earning a Gold medal. If the Nets were to acquire Garnett it would give the franchise a starting lineup of all past and present All-Stars (assuming an opening day lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Garnett and Brook Lopez).
Brooklyn has $84 million in guaranteed salaries on the books for next season, placing the franchise in luxury tax territory but the team’s ownership structure has remained adamant on spending top dollar to become legitimate title contenders.
Celtics’ Ainge Shocked By Doc Rivers Decision To Join Clippers
The old adage holds true, nothing lasts forever, especially in the world of professional sports. Earlier this week it was formally announced Doc Rivers had accepted an offer to become the Los Angeles Clippers’ head coach. The press conference is slated for Wednesday afternoon.
The news of Rivers’ final decision came as a shock to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who once considered Rivers his top assistant in personnel matters.
“My feelings are, I planned on Doc being our coach all along,” Ainge said in a press conference. “We had discussions about him being Gregg Popovich, Jerry Sloan, Red Auerbach — breaking Red Auerbach’s all-time win record as a Celtic and being here for a long time. So I never really had thought about this day. And even then, it was so early after the season that I didn’t really think it was going to happen until [Monday].”
In nine seasons leading the Celtics, Rivers posted a 416-306 (.576) mark which included seven trips to the playoffs, two NBA Finals appearances and a NBA championship (2008).
The Clippers signed Rivers to a three-year $21 million deal and will also send a 2015 first round pick to Boston as compensation. According to multiple reports, the teams will also be restricted in making any player trades next season (this includes three-team deals).
“When we signed Doc to the highest-paid coaching contract in the NBA a couple years ago, we talked, we knew the ages of our players,” Ainge said. “We knew that we would be here at a phase — maybe it would have been last year, maybe this year, maybe next year — but a time to rebuild and restore. We talked about that. At that time, before it hit him, he was all on board and I felt like I did a very good sales job on Doc at that time; maybe he did a sales job on me.
“We knew that this time would come, everybody knew that. I think that coaches are judged by wins and losses … we’re always [graded] on the results and Doc’s been around the block, he sort of gets that. He’s also been in the rebuilding process, and maybe it hit him. It was really hard those first few years in Boston, that was a real challenge.”
Prior to his departure Rivers had the second longest tenure for a head coach in the league behind the San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich.
Latest HOOPSWORLD Consensus Mock Draft (8.0)
Reminder: This year’s draft is being held on June 27.
Each year HOOPSWORLD puts together a team of writers to look at the NBA Draft. The idea here is to illustrate how differently (or similarly) writers from various NBA markets see the 2013 NBA Draft. So with that out of the way…
Check out how HOOPSWORLD’s Joel Brigham, Alex Kennedy, Yannis Koutroupis and Steve Kyler are projecting the upcoming draft to play out.
Buy USA TODAY’s 2013 NBA Draft Preview
Be sure to order USA TODAY’s 2013 NBA Draft Preview or pick it up at a newsstand near you.
The HOOPSWORLD team helped put this preview issue together and it has all of the information you could possibly need to make sure you’re ready for the draft on June 27.
It has articles on many of the top players, in-depth capsules for each team and player, a mock draft, a look ahead at next year’s star-studded class and much more.
Click here to order the 2012 NBA Draft Preview online.
HOOPSWORLD NBA Draft Prospect Profiles
The NBA Draft is rapidly approaching. Get up to date information on the top prospects here.