In one of the wildest trade deadlines–arguably ever– the Nets pulled off a surprising trade that had presented itself on Wednesday night. Kevin Garnett’s brief era in Brooklyn ended, as he was swapped for 26-year old power forward Thaddeus Young.
Getting younger and more productive at the power forward position would have been a steal ordinarily, but the Miami Heat and several of the teams trailing the Nets got significantly better. The Heat traded a bunch of useless parts for Goran Dragic to go along with the second-easiest schedule the rest of the way.
Assuming that Miami grabs the seventh seed courtesy of the upgrade, the Nets will be vying for No. 8 with the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets, and Boston Celtics. Essentially, there are two spots for six teams. All are within two games of each other.
The surprise of the day came when the Nets failed to acquire Oklahoma City point guard Reggie Jackson. Many believed the deal needed only pen to paper, but Thunder general manager Sam Presti used the Nets as leverage to get a far better package.
While the Nets would have only relinquished Brook Lopez to the Thunder, Presti wound up with Enes Kanter (Utah), Kyle Singler (Detroit), D.J. Augustin (Detroit), and Steve Novak (Utah). Aside from a few expiring deals, he only parted with Jackson.
The Nets were jilted at the altar after many believed the deal was all set, and the hour prevented Billy King from pursuing other deals. Lopez reportedly would not opt in to the second year of his current deal, which gave the Thunder some reticence.
Unfortunately for the Nets, Jackson heads to one of the teams directly behind them in the standings. The Pistons also acquired veteran forward Tayshaun Prince.
In all the madness, the Boston Celtics acquired Isaiah Thomas from the Phoenix Suns, adding a dynamic playmaker to their offense.
Young had been experiencing a down year with the Timberwolves, but his age makes him an upgrade over Garnett, who could not play more than 15-20 minutes on any given night. Young is averaging 14.3 PPG and 5.1 RPG.
He and Garnett shared the same player efficiency rating–14.9. King originally drafted Young while he was the GM in Philadelphia.
Elsewhere in the league, Jason Kidd’s Milwaukee Bucks surprisingly shipped guard Brandon Knight to Phoenix in multiteam deal in exchange for 2014 rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis, and Miles Plumlee. Phoenix also acquired Marcus Thornton from Boston in the Thomas deal.
The Portland Trail Blazers also snagged Arron Afflalo from the Denver Nuggets in a multiplayer deal.