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Friday, June 28, 2013

Let The Tanking Begin! Pierce & Garnett Shipped To Nets For 5 Players & 3 Future First-Round Picks

The end of the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett era with the Celtics officially came to a bizarre end tonight as both were shipped to Brooklyn in a blockbuster deal along with Jason Terry that totally overshadowed the mostly dull 2013 NBA Draft (in terms of possible star players in the future). The Nets will send in return Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph (drafted by Boston last year), the expiring deal of Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans and Keith Bogans along with three first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Once Doc Rivers went to the Clippers earlier this week, you knew that this day was coming soon especially since Pierce was owed an option for next season by Sunday. Rivers, KG and Pierce would have preferred to stay together but the players wouldn't have been able to join the Clippers this season because of an obscure NBA rule so the Celts had to find a new suitor: enter the Nets who have money to burn and seats to fill at the Barclays Center. This makes Brooklyn-a playoff team last season-much more of a contender. They should win the Atlantic Division and home court at least in the first round of the playoffs when their new additions mesh with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez.

It will be strange to see both of these guys in Brooklyn, who just hired Jason Kidd to be their head coach. Pierce spent his entire career with the Celtics (since 1998!) and KG was here since 2007 but it felt like even longer. Both are locks to make the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA. Boston has now fully committed to tanking next season (for Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker?) and they are basically guaranteed to be awful for a few seasons. Who can blame them though? Getting lottery picks (to use or trade) is the only way for the C's to rebuild since truth be told Boston is not a coveted destination for most quality free agents. Losing Doc meant they had less of a drawing card and now without KG and Pierce, expect plenty of empty seats at TD Garden in 2013-14.

You have to wonder if Boston's final step is to trade Rajon Rondo-the only player they have left with any real value. In some ways it's tough to see them centering the new look team around a guy that's such a pain in the ass and anything but a leader. Oh and they still don't have a head coach. Yeesh. We wish KG and Pierce well, their jerseys will be retired in the rafters someday soon and we'll always have the 2008 NBA title plus six playoff bids in all six seasons that they were teammates.

What do the next few years have in store for the Celtics (other than many losses)? Your guess is as good as mine at this puzzling moment.

UPDATE 6/28: Instead of Evans, former PC star MarShon Brooks (who was also originally drafted by Boston) was included in the package to the Celtics.

UPDATE 6/30: To create another roster spot and free up a little salary, the Celtics waived guard Terrence Williams.

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