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Doc Rivers in now the coach the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are almost members of the Brooklyn Nets. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that a blockbuster deal between the Nets and Celtics has gotten to ‘ownership level’, meaning that the deal has been agreed upon by the teams’ respective managements and just needs ownership approval to be taken to the league for completion.
The proposed deal would send Pierce, Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Reggie Evans, three future first-round picks, and at least one other Net player. The picks the Celtics would receive would be the Nets 2014, 2016, and 2018 picks.
One potential snag in getting the deal done immediately, is the contract of Pierce, which goes down by over $1 million on July 10th. The other hurdle is getting Garnett to wave his no-trade clause, but with Rivers gone, and Pierce and Terry going with him, belief is he can be convinced to do so. Pierce and Garnett are expected to talk before Garnett waves the clause.
For the Celtics, this move is obviously to set up the franchise for the distant future rather than the near future. Humphries, Wallace and Evans would clearly not part of the Celtics long term plans, as this trade would primarily be about getting three first round picks. It’s unlikely the Celtics would be able to get that many picks from any other team.
This trade could save the Celtics as much as $8 million this season, and Humphries $12 million deal expires at season’s end. Wallace’s contract runs through the 2015-2016 season, but is likely he gets bought out or traded again before it expires.
It’s tough to determine where this trade leaves the Celtics next season, but with Rajon Rondo coming off of ACL surgery, and Jared Sullinger coming off of back surgery, management might be viewing next season as a lost cause regardless of whether Pierce and Garnett returned.