NEW YORK —
Boston won five straight division titles from 2008-12 before falling back last season, the first following Ray Allen’s departure to Miami. Then the Celtics let coach Doc Rivers out of his contract after the season by acquiring a first-round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers. This trade signals a new phase for the team that has won an NBA-high 17 championships and got used to being in the hunt again after Garnett arrived in 2007.
“Paul and Kevin exemplified everything it means to be a Celtic,” Celtics managing partner and CEO Wyc Grousbeck said. “They were instrumental in bringing back Celtic Pride and providing our fans with the franchise’s first championship in over 20 years in 2008. We wish them nothing but the best in the future.”
The Nets went 49-33 in their first season in Brooklyn and have spent big in hopes of bettering that in 2013-14. They also signed versatile forward Andrei Kirilenko, re-signed backup big man Andray Blatche and added reserve guard Shaun Livingston.
They blew well past the luxury tax line and are facing a bill of $80 million in taxes, but Prokhorov wanted a title within five years of owning the team. A starting five of Garnett, Pierce, Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, along with former Sixth Man of the Year Terry, has a chance to compete for one.
The window to win is small, two years at the most given the ages of Pierce and Garnett — though King sees those as incentive more than detriment.