Balance of power in the NBA’s Eastern Conference shifts after formalisation of deal.
The blockbuster deal struck on NBA draft night between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets became official signalling the end of one era and the beginning of another.
The Nets formally welcomed Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and D.J. White to Brooklyn, where they’ll play under former star point guard Jason Kidd, who has taken over the reigns as coach.
“We are excited to welcome Kevin, Paul and Jason to Brooklyn,” Nets general manager Billy King said.
“All three players have championship pedigree and possess the veteran qualities that will make us a stronger team.”
Garnett, 37, and Pierce, 35, played key roles in helping the Celtics to the NBA title in 2008, and to the finals in 2010, when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Today, the basketball gods smiled on the Nets,” said the Nets’ principal owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov said.
“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.”
Garnett holds averages of 19.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 blocks in 1,323 career games over 18 NBA seasons. He’s also played 131 playoff games and has averaged 19.2 points with 11.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the postseason.
A 15-time All-Star, Garnett was selected as the NBA MVP during the 2003-04 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Pierce, a 10-time All-Star, played the first 15 seasons of his career with the Celtics and ranks fifth all-time in NBA history in career three-pointers made with 1,823.
Brooklyn added another veteran presence on Friday when they confirmed they had signed 32-year-old Russian free agent forward Andrei Kirilenko.
No terms were announced, but US media reported Kirilenko turned down a $10 million offer for next season from the Minnesota Timberwolves to sign with the Nets for significantly less.
The Celtics acquired Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 in the deal.
“We are really excited to welcome Gerald, Kris, Keith, MarShon and Kris to the Celtics organisation,” said new coach Brad Stevens, who is making the jump to the NBA after guiding the successful Butler University program.
“They collectively bring a great deal of versatility, unique skill sets and production to our roster. I cannot wait to get to work with them.”