We're In: Ticket, Truth and the Jet
Three seasons ago, Mikhail Prokhorov introduced himself as owner of the Nets, defining a new era by setting the expection of a championship within five years. Friday, Nets General Manager Billy King put that goal within reach as – in Prokhorov's words – "the basketball gods smiled on the Nets," shipping Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and three First-Round NBA Draft picks (2014, 2016 and 2018), as well as the right to swap first round picks in 2017, for veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and D.J. White.
Garnett and Pierce formed the backbone of Boston's 2008 Championship team, and Terry – the 2008-09 Sixth Man of the Year – won in 2011 as a member of the Mavericks. The trio has combined for 25 All-Star appearances, 13 All-NBA nods and 33 trips to the postseason.
"With the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, we have achieved a great balance on our roster between veteran stars and young talents," King said. "This team will be dazzling to watch, and tough to compete against."
Last year, the 37-year-old Garnett averaged 17.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 19.2 minutes; Pierce, age 34: 18.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 33.4 minutes; Terry, age 35: 10.1 points on .372 shooting from three-point range and .434 overall in 26.9 minutes. All three played more minutes and improved on their regular-season lines during Boston's six-game First Round loss to the Knicks.
Garnett will slot in at power forward, and Pierce alongside him at the 3, joining point guard Deron Williams, shooting guard Joe Johnson and center Brook Lopez to form one of the league's most potent starting fives. They will be supported by a deep bench that should allow everyone's minutes to be limited during the regular season, keeping the team prepared to make a deep run through the playoffs.
Garnett. Pierce. Terry.
The Big Ticket. The Truth. The Jet.