BOSTON – The Big Three era is over, as Kevin Garnett has agreed to waive his no-trade clause and join Paul Pierce and Jason Terry on the Brooklyn Nets, according to CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely.
The Nets will trade the Celtics first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 as well as Gerald Wallace, Tornike Shengelia and Kris Humphries. The Nets will additionally send Reggie Evans and Keith Bogans as part of the complex deal. While the 2014 pick is unprotected, it will be the lowest of the Nets or Hawks picks that year because of the Joe Johnson trade.
Paul Pierce will leaves the Celtics after playing the first 15 years of his career in Boston, while Garnett played six years in green. Danny Ainge would not comment on the talks just minutes before ithe story was broken by Blakely.
Although Ray Allen and Doc Rivers signalled the end of the Big 3 Era, the biggest and final pillars to fall were the departures of team leader Kevin Garnett and lifelong Celtic Paul Pierce.
"It's actually crazy [because] when you think of Boston, you think of those two. It's going to be weird seeing them in the [Nets] uniform," Courtney Lee told CLNS Radio early Friday morning. While the shock to the culture of the Celtics will be significant, it gives them plenty of assets and flexibility moving forward.
Wallace has three years/$30 million left on his contract and had the worst season of his career last year, but Humphries is in the last year of his deal and can be a valuable trade asset at the deadline.
The trade will reduce the Celtics payroll by roughly $10 million for the 2013-2014 season, putting them around $53-55 million. This should put the team under the tax apron and give them the full Mid-Level exception that projects to be close to $6 million this offseason.
With Garnett gone, the Celtics’ only center on the roster is Fab Melo at the moment. Danny Ainge told CLNS Radio Thursday night that he doesn’t envision new draft pick Kelly Olynyk as a five at the NBA level, but rather as a mobile four. Ainge said that he sees Olynyk and Jared Sullinger playing together, although not at a championship level.
With the rebuild in full swing and the roster being gutted, it appears that Olynyk and Sullinger may get significant time playing together immediately. Meanwhile, the Nets have gone from a first-round drop out to a primary challenger to the Miami Heat.
Garnett will have significantly less offensive pressure with Brook Lopez emerging as a top-level center this season while Paul Pierce will go back to playing off-ball next to Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. The Nets now have a starting lineup comprised completely of recent All-Stars.