Tip-Off for 6/28/13 (featuring Tichina Arnold): Celtics trade Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Nets; 76ers look to the future

(Boston Globe)

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are looking at another potential title run in Brooklyn.

Once the wrecking ball was put away in Beantown, memories of the Boston Celtics 2007-08 championship lingered among the rubble. The C’s lost Ray Allen to the Miami Heat in free agency last season. Earlier this week, Celtics GM Danny Ainge let Doc Rivers out of the final three years of his deal to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.

With the Celtics unable to compete with the immense talent in the Eastern Conference, Danny Ainge traded veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets.

Two weeks ago, I would’ve bet Paul Pierce would retire in Celtics green. The NBA put the brakes on a deal which would’ve sent Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers along with Doc Rivers. NBA trades cannot combine players and coaches, but it was clear without Rivers, the Celtics were ready to accelerate their rebuilding process.

After days of speculation, the Brooklyn Nets landed Garnett, Pierce and Jason Terry. In return the Celtics get a consistent influx of youth with three first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 along with Kris Humphies, Reggie Evans, Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans (sign and trade), Kris Joseph and Tornike Shengelia. The deal became possible when Garnett waived his no-trade clause.

With the hiring of new head coach Jason Kidd and this recent trade, the Brooklyn Nets are making a push for the Eastern Conference crown. Here is the Nets starting five on opening night as the roster currently stands.

  • PG – Deron Williams
  • SG – Joe Johnson
  • SF – Paul Pierce
  • PF – Kevin Garnett
  • C- Brook Lopez

The Philadelphia 76ers have thrown their hopes into the 2014 Draft — which more than likely will hold Kansas’ super freshman Andrew Wiggins.  In the meantime, fans are hoping this isn’t the NBA version of ‘Groundhog Day’. For the second season in a row and the third time in their history, the franchise has traded away an All-Star from the previous season for a player with knee issues. The 76ers traded All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel and a draft-protected first round pick in 2014. The 76ers also traded their 42nd pick (Pierre Jackson) to New Orleans.

One thing Nerlens Noel has on his side is youth and a serious upside. Noel is into his third month of extensive rehab since tearing the ACL in his left knee last February. Despite his injury, Noel was named the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year by averaging 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 2.1 steals in 32 minutes per game. What Noel lacks in offensive prowess, he more than makes up for defensively with his uncanny shot-blocking ability.

Still holding the 11th overall pick, Philly selected Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams. At 6’5″, Williams is a long ball handler and a above average defender. In the second round, the team traded away their 35th pick for the 38th and 54th overall picks — one of which was traded away. New GM Sam Hinkie was at the controls in his first NBA draft walked away with two lottery pick, another selection in Arsalan Kazemi (NBA’s first Iranian-born player) an extra potential lottery pick next season as well as $35.3 million in cap space for this season.

In the midst of the 76ers wheeling and dealing, the team announced the hiring of San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown as their new head coach.

The team loses a major building block in Jrue Holiday — who developed nicely under former coach Doug Collins — now team advisor. I applaud Sam Hinkie for his aggression in this draft, but deals like this have come back to bite this team — resulting in weeping and gnashing of teeth among the 76ers faithful — which has drastically dwindled.

With loads of dough to play with and the potential of landing Wiggins next season, the franchise is primed to get better in a hurry. It’s time the 76ers develop a team judged on potency, rather than potential.

 

The Lineup:

Taking news coverage to a new low (News Feed Time).

Don’t mess with Doc Rivers (USA Today).

Check out the Hard Knock Radio Blog (WordPress).

Twitter handles of those who voted against Imm. reform (Huff Post).

Grizzlies trade Darrell Arthur to Nuggets (NBA/SI).

Rank Top 5 Sports is out (Paper li).

Anthony Bennett’s high school victims (Dime Magazine).

Jesse Jackson: Paula Deen can be redeemed (Black America Webb).

Twitter reaction to the Noel/Holiday trade (Mike and McGoutry).

FIBA Live (FIBA).

 

Happy Birthday to Tichina Arnold aka “Pam”!

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