NEW YORK — Feeling he was close to a deal for Paul Pierce, a thought crossed Billy King’s mind.
“I asked, ‘What about KG?”“ the Nets general manager said.
Yes, Brooklyn is also getting Kevin Garnett — and a real shot at contending for a championship.
“I would say ending today it’s a good day for the organization,” King said Friday on a conference call.
And it’s the close of a championship chapter in the Celtics’ storied history.
Boston’s blockbuster breakup is complete. Pierce and Garnett are Brooklyn-bound, and it’s the Nets who are thinking big as they head into their second season in their new home.
“Today, the basketball gods smiled on the Nets,” team owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement. “With the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, we have achieved a great balance on our roster between veteran stars and young talents. This team will be dazzling to watch, and tough to compete against.”
It’s a nine-player, three-draft-pick swap agreed to on draft night and centered on the two aging champions who won a title in Boston in 2008. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge eventually agreed to put Garnett in the deal, and Garnett waved his no-trade clause after some lobbying from new Nets coach Jason Kidd and point guard Deron Williams.
The Nets also got Jason Terry and D.J. White from Boston, while sending Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 to the rebuilding Celtics. Boston also gets the right to swap first-round picks in 2017.
The teams agreed to the deal on June 27 but it couldn’t be completed until after next season’s salary cap was set. The Nets plan to introduce their new stars Thursday at Barclays Center.