June 27, 2013

Celtics, Nets closing in on Pierce, Garnett trade

The blockbuster deal would land the Celtics three first-round picks, and enable them to move on from their high-priced, aging stars.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Nets and Boston Celtics are discussing a deal that would bring Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn, a person with knowledge of the talks said Thursday.

click image to enlarge

The Boston Celtics are in talks to trade forward Paul Pierce (34) and Celtics center Kevin Garnett (5) to the New Jersey Nets. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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On the day they hosted the NBA draft, the Nets were making much bigger noise with a potential transaction that would send the two perennial All-Stars to a new Atlantic Division home.

Yahoo Sports, which first reported the talks, said the Nets would also get veteran Jason Terry from the Celtics while sending Gerald Wallace, Tornike Shengelia, the expiring contract of Kris Humphries and three future first-round picks to Boston.

The person confirmed the talks to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the details were to remain private.

The deal would complete the breakup of the core that led Boston to an NBA championship and within a victory of another. The Celtics already let Doc Rivers leave after acquiring a draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers.

Garnett would have to waive a no-trade clause, which he has been reluctant to do previously. But the Nets hope he would consider this time with Pierce joining him and the Celtics' best days seemingly behind them.

The Celtics tumbled down the Eastern Conference standings this season, falling all the way to the No. 7 seed and getting eliminated by the New York Knicks in the first round. They have been considering moving one or both of the veterans, and this would trigger the start of a true rebuilding process.

And it would provide a huge boost to the Nets at two of their weakest positions. They struggled to settle on a starting power forward all last season, and Pierce would be immune to the lengthy offensive slumps that plagued Wallace, the starting small forward.

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