The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach wrote an article with some great quotes and insight form both Wyc Grousbeck and Danny Ainge on the famous heist Danny pulled on the Brooklyn Nets. While the trade is now looked at with a perspective of shock at how the Nets could possibly give all that up for a short window bet on Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, it was far from being thought of as a given at the time that the trade would work out this well for the Celtics. Certainly not if you were Mikhail Prokhorov.

Quick refresher: KG, Paul, and Jason Terry were sent to Brooklyn. Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans, and Kris Joseph were sent to Boston. Yep, pretty lopsided in terms of which team won the NBA talent swap. But the intrigue came with Brooklyn mortgaging their next 4 years of first round draft picks by sending us their 2014, 2016, and 2018 first round picks, along with the right for Boston to swap their 2017 pick if Brooklyn's happens to finish with a worse record (spoiler: they will).

Everyone knew the back end of those picks in 2017 and 2018 had the potential to be great for Boston. What nobody was sure of was that Brooklyn would have completely fallen apart by this point and we'd be sitting on an unprotected lottery pick already.
To be fair, Brooklyn was not expected to implode so suddenly. Grousbeck remembers sitting in Boston’s draft-night war room while approving the trade and discussing the benefits of the future picks. No one in the room viewed the 2016 choice as a potential gem, he said.

“We thought the Nets were putting together a good team,” Grousbeck said. “I suspect neither we nor the Nets thought it would be this high this year, otherwise there might have been some protection on the pick.”

Wyc was not alone, as even Danny admits he didn't see this coming.
“I thought Brooklyn was going to be good,” Ainge said. “I thought that maybe the 2018 pick might have a chance to be a decent pick, but I really didn’t believe that 2016 pick would be where it is. I thought they had a chance to be a good team — like, a really good team.”

What's also great is that while this 2016 pick has become more valuable than anyone anticipated at the time, the following 2 years seem like they'll be even better. Brooklyn's first year with Paul and KG they were bounced in the 2nd round of the playoffs, but after that they have regressed every year. Now with no picks, no allure, and no reason to spend, it's looking real good for the Celtics. Now hopefully they have a little luck in tonight's lottery.

Photo Credit: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

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Chris Thompson 5/17/2016 05:14:00 PM Edit
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