Winners and Losers of Nets-Celtics Trade for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce

Jimmy SpencerNBA Lead WriterJune 28, 2013

Winners and Losers of Nets-Celtics Trade for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce

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    The Brooklyn Nets became a legit contender during the NBA draft Thursday night when it was announced a blockbuster deal would package Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Jason Kidd's club. 

    The Boston Celtics will receive three future first-round picks for 2004, 2016 and 2018 in addition to Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph and the expiring contract of Kris Humphries, per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski

    Wojnarowski added that the Nets will also send back Reggie Evans and do a sign-and-trade involving Keith Bogans. Should the Nets have a better first-round pick in 2017, the Celtics have the right to trade picks. 

    The Nets give up their future, but do the Celtics really gain a fresh start? As the Celtics continue to reconstruct their roster, the Nets immediately move into a win-now mentality.

    The deal has plenty of winners and losers.

Winner: Jason Kidd

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    Jason Kidd is apparently a great head coach. He's been with the Brooklyn Nets for just a couple weeks, and the franchise is already a contender.

    The trade will provide more veteran talent around Brooklyn’s new coach, including Kevin Garnett, who was drafted just a year after Kidd.

    It’s easier to coach veterans, especially guys like Garnett and Paul Pierce, than it is to try to jell talent that’s never won. Kidd isn’t on his own now. Imagine a Nets practice with Garnett inspiring teammates or a huddle with Pierce as a motivator. 

    This trade makes the Nets a legitimate challenge to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference, but it will also be intriguing to watch how Kidd works with his veteran stars.

Loser: Rajon Rondo

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    Rajon Rondo is all by himself.

    He's the odd man out after the Celtics sent away Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers. The All-Star point guard went down with an ACL injury midseason, and he'll return to a far different environment than what he was accustomed to.

    When Rondo entered the league as a rookie, the Celtics were a 24-win team in the 2006-07 season. The Big Three of Garnett, Pierce and Ray Allen was formed in the following season's championship run, and the Celtics have been a playoff team ever since.

    Now the point guard will likely have to get used to losing again, and it may be a few years until Boston is back.

    Rondo is one of the Celtics' good contracts at $11.9 million next season and $12.9 million in 2014-15. The Celtics will continue to keep him as the team's centerpiece, which won't be a fun role for Rondo moving forward. 

Winner: Kevin Garnett

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    Kevin Garnett will get one more shot at an NBA championship.

    One of the league's biggest-name superstars of the last 15-plus years, Garnett becomes a valuable piece in the Brooklyn Nets' effort to contend for a title.

    Not only is he back in a winning situation, but he'll continue to earn big money. Garnett waived his no-trade clause, and the Nets fully guaranteed his $12 million contract owed to him for the 2014-15 season, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Garnett didn't produce with the Celtics like he did with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but even at 37 years old, he still averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds on 49.6 percent shooting through 68 games last season.

    His passion will never wane, and he's the perfect leader to pair with Paul Pierce, Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams.

Loser: Gerald Wallace

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    It's not as if Gerald Wallace is going from a parade float in Brooklyn to basketball's abyss, but the veteran swingman certainly will be missing out on the Nets' future as contenders.

    The soon-to-be 31-year-old has yet to play a significant role for a contender, and now he's back to a rebuilding team. He previously played for the Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Bobcats and Portland Trail Blazers

    Because Wallace is making $10.1 million annually through the next three seasons, his contract matched perfectly for what was needed to make the blockbuster deal happen.

    Unfortunately for Wallace, he's a casualty.

Winner: Deron Williams

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    Forget the numbers.

    It will certainly help Deron Williams' statistics now that he's able to run the pick-and-roll with Kevin Garnett and that he can drive-and-kick to Paul Pierce. The point guard will thrive in a system coached by Jason Kidd with plenty of weapons.

    But the true value in the trade for Williams is the veteran presence Garnett and Pierce will bring.

    Williams has a competitor's fire, but he always seemed held back in previous situations. With Garnett and Pierce, Williams finally has a full complement of teammates to run with. 

Winner: Paul Pierce

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    It's going to be strange to see Paul Pierce out of Celtics green.

    But remember, this is good for him—really good.

    The Celtics could have returned much of the same core and pushed back into the postseason with the hopes of something special happening. Remember, this team is just one full season removed from taking the Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.

    Pieces began to drop off slowly, however, as first Ray Allen left, then Doc Rivers left and it appeared Garnett was set to retire or be traded.

    Where would that have left Pierce?

    Now the veteran forward will not have to drown in Celtics losses as he counts down to his retirement. He moves on with Garnett to go contend for a title with the Nets.

    He can still score, and he still has the desire to defend the other team's best player. Plus, he will still get paid. The Celtics were likely to use a $5 million buyout option sending Pierce into free agency, but now he will receive the $15.3 million he is owed in 2013-14.

Loser: Celtics Fans

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    Boston Celtics fans can't like this deal.

    Paul Pierce has been the heart of that city's basketball world for his entire career, and watching him go play for the Brooklyn Nets won't be a fun sight.

    What's worse, though, is the rebuilding period that's about to occur. The salaries brought in through the trade don't help the Celtics, so it's truly a move for the draft picks. But if the Nets are playing contending basketball, those picks aren't as meaningful.

    The Celtics' growth back to contenders could take a long, long time.