Should Danny Ainge's Celtics/Nets trade (heist) prompt NBA trade reform?
Los Angeles Clippers Consultant, Jerry West, thinks so. He is very impressed with what Danny Ainge has accomplished as President of the Boston Celtics but feels that the Brooklyn/Boston trade "almost should be legislated against" (per Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett):
I’ll just say that every once in a while, there’s a chance that people get to take advantage of someone,” West said. “I don’t think that will ever happen again, but what Brooklyn did almost should be legislated against, to be honest with you.
It’s very much like when Stepien was in Cleveland,” he added, referring to former Cavs owner Ted Stepien, who traded away so many first-round picks that the league no longer allows teams to trade first-rounders in consecutive years. “We got the No. 1 pick in the draft (James Worthy in 1982) out of it, who helped us win championships.
In his statements, West is applauding Ainge and the Celtics and berating the Nets and the poor decisions and in-fighting that led to such a bad move for them. Many believe the trade was the worst in NBA history (per New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy):
“Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” — Murphy’s Law, ignored by the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets are what happens when there’s no parachute and the engine blows. They are the audacious experiment whose mission malfunctioned at takeoff and was aborted in midair, leaving behind a trade that is debated as the worst in the history of the NBA.
Four years later, here’s the carnage broken down to its most important parts, about as lopsided a deal for Russian owners as the Alaskan Purchase:
— The Celtics received the No. 17 pick in 2014, the No. 3 pick in 2016, the No. 1 pick in 2017, almost certainly another top pick in 2018.
The 17th pick in the 2014 NBA draft became James Young. The 2016 prize turned out to be Jaylen Brown with the third pick. The 2017 pick brought Jayson Tatum and a future potential lottery pick - as Boston traded back from first to third in the draft. The 2018 pick essentially became Kyrie Irving via a trade with Cleveland. It basically comes down to Brown, Tatum, Irving and a future potential lottery pick for two players (Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett) no longer in the League.
I am of a mind that you can't legislate against poor decision-making, arrogance and monetary recklessness. I equate doing that with the following mindless warnings that have become part of our society.
Jerry West did not go as far as emphatically stating that the NBA should pursue such legislation. I believe he was merely sending a message to certain NBA teams to keep their heads about them. I propose the following sign be posted in every NBA executive office. It makes more sense than the warnings shown above.
BAD NBA TRADES CAN BE HARMFUL TO YOUR TEAM
If I was writing about the exploits of another NBA team, I may be thinking differently. But I see no possibility of Danny ever getting hoodwinked by another NBA executive. We are safe as long as he is here. I will leave you with the following mindless bit of product labeling. Where else would you make terracotta bubble flowers.
Follow Tom at @TomLandHC
Photo via Lisa Blumenfield/Getty Images North America
Sign photos via Brad Montague