By Jason Keidel
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Am I the only one not fawning or fainting over this allegedly slam-dunk deal Brooklyn made?
The Nets shipped half their roster and three first round-draft picks to Boston for two Jurassic legends who live far closer to rep than the rim.
Paul Pierce will be 36 and Kevin Garnett will be 38 next postseason. Bill Clinton had yet to be re-elected by KG’s rookie year. And the former president had yet to finish his second term when Pierce was picked by the Celtics out of Kansas. We hadn’t even pondered the Y2K apocalypse.
Last season, Garnett averaged his second-lowest totals in scoring (14.8) and rebounding (7.8). Pierce averaged his second-lowest total in scoring (18.6) and minutes per game (33.4). Garnett played the fewest minutes for his career (29.7).
“They won’t be asked to play max minutes, dude!” is the standard maxim. “They’re more like role players.”
Then why trade the farm for glorified sixth men? If you plan to trade dead weight for dying weight, at least keep your picks. Trading Humphries, Evans, Wallace, et al., nestles into the win-now template, but make sure you bag guys who have two years left in their legs.
And why would we think they will give us a full season this year? Garnett has been a walking triage over the last two years.
Toss a dart at the local classroom skeleton and you’ll probably nail some recent malady. And unless they bum Tony Bosch’s digits from A-Rod (allegedly!) they will only get older, slower, and worse.
My favorite summary of the nuclear deal is the declaration of Brooklyn’s five-borough eminence.
“They’re better than the Knicks!”
Why would anyone be so proud of that? The Knicks haven’t won a title in 41 years – yes, four decades. The Seattle Supersonics have more rings since 1974 – and they don’t even exist.
And why would the hardwood cognoscenti assume that these draft picks – all of which are unprotected – are worthless? You mean to say that there aren’t 20 or 30 college players every year who can contribute instantly and endlessly?
Perhaps the greatest tandem in history plunged below the lottery. John Stockton (16th pick) and Karl Malone (13th) sailed under the radar of the league’s illuminati.
Some more examples of first-round heists and beyond, slots the Nets could very well have bequeathed to Boston. (According to Bleacher Report.)
First round gems:
Kobe Bryant, 13th pick.
Reggie Miller, 11th pick.
Mark Jackson, 18th pick.
Clyde Drexler, 14th pick.
Joe Dumars, 18th pick.
Steve Nash, 15th pick.
Tony Parker, 28th pick.
Shawn Kemp, 17th pick.
Second round steals:
Even the third round hatched two Hall of Fame talents. Before the Fantastic Four hit your cinema, George Gervin was the Iceman. And the eternal antagonist and Bad Boys’ ultimate provocateur, Bill Laimbeer, was snagged in the third round.
Then you’ve got a new coach, Jason Kidd, whose first gig includes weaving epic egos into one, monolithic mosaic. Then there’s the whole coach-killer coaching another coach-killer (Deron Williams). Kidd, a truly transcendent player, could not have picked a more rigorous debut.
Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian tycoon with Mike Tyson’s cash discipline, is a ravenous owner who will do anything to win, like fronting that colossal luxury tax. But he just got audited by Danny Ainge, who must be grinning and squinting before Beantown’s beaming future.
Five years ago this deal would be a steal. Sadly, Boston thought of it first, gathering that most holy hardwood trinity of Pierce, Garnett, and Ray Allen.
Now they’ve dumped the retreads on the Nets, who are used to overpaying and underachieving. Maybe since Jay-Z dumped his shares of the team, the Nets are back to jamming to the oldies.
Maybe Dr. J is free…
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