Billy King on the Celtics trade: “We took our shot and it didn’t work”


The Brooklyn Nets are still reeling from the failure of the biggest risk in franchise history, trading three first-round draft picks and the fourth in a swap for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry.

None of the nine players involved in the trade are with either the Nets or Celtics any longer. Terry was gone midway through the year, Pierce bolted following one season, and Garnett was traded the following February. The team hoped to compete for a championship following the trade, but made it only five games into the second round before falling to the Miami Heat.

But while the Nets flounder at the bottom of the Atlantic, the Celtics are thriving, with a horde of young players and draft picks, including Brooklyn’s first-rounder this season.

Billy King, who engineered the trade in conjunction with Nets ownership, was on hand to watch the Nets fall to the Celtics Friday, and was asked about “the trade.” Per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, who spoke with King in Boston Friday night:

“Not having the picks, you’ve got to figure out other ways to get it, second-round picks,” King said. “If you don’t have picks, you just get young guys.”

“We took our shot and it didn’t work,” he said. “And now to see some of these guys develop and to get it back and for us to have the cap space [next summer], we can do it pretty quickly. We want to win but we knew we may take a step back when some of the decisions were made. But what I like is we’ve put ourselves in the position to beat a Golden State, we just didn’t make the right plays. That’s just learning how to win. We’re talking the steps.”

There are three major ways to build in the NBA: you draft marquee prospects, engineer a marquee trade, or sign marquee free agents. The Nets traded away option A (the draft) in option B (three marquee trades), and it backfired. Now, all they’ve got left to look forward to is option C: armed with $40 million in cap room on the free agent market this offseason.

Boston Globe — Nets can only blame themselves for mess

(h/t CBS Sports)