It doesn’t take an expert to look at the Nets’ 2013 trade with the Boston Celtics and — with the benefit of hindsight — call it a disaster. The deal, which brought future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce into the fold, was an all-in move that backfired when Brooklyn failed to advance to the 2014 conference finals.
The franchise continues to pay for it in the form of high first-round picks. The Celtics used the No. 3 pick last year to select Jaylen Brown, and as part of a pick swap dealt this year’s No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s draft to the 76ers for Philadelphia’s No. 3 pick and future consideration. Next year’s first-rounder also belongs to Boston.
While the Celtics reap draft rewards as one of the East’s elite, the Nets remain stuck in the cellar with little hope of a quick turnaround on the horizon. The whole ordeal underscores the dangers of trading away future picks.
But the Nets aren’t alone in making such a deal that backfires. Check out these three trades, which included future draft compensation, consummated at least one season before a particular draft.
Series of shortsighted Knicks deals
Three trades made between 2004 and 2011 failed to put the Knicks in the title hunt.
In ’04, Stephon Marbury’s acquisition was the heart of a deal that shipped out the Knicks’ 2010 pick. The Jazz eventually landed the pick, selecting Gordon Hayward and watching Paul George come off the board one spot later — both All-Stars.
The next fall, the Knicks surrendered a package of players and picks to the Chicago Bulls for centerpiece Eddy Curry. First-rounders in 2006 and 2007 selected using the Knicks’ slot: LaMarcus Aldridge (by the Portland Trail Blazers in ’06) and Joakim Noah (2007) — again, both All-Stars.
After waiting out a draft-pick drought, the Knicks again shipped a slew of future first-rounders with the 2011 trade to land Carmelo Anthony. While the deal led to a brief resurgence and conference semifinals berth, it cost the franchise the No. 12 pick (Dario Saric of the Sixers) in 2014 and No. 7 (Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets) in 2016. Time will tell how these players pan out after strong rookie campaigns last season.
Clippers miss out on No. 1 in 1986
The Nets weren’t the first team to miss out on the top overall pick during the lottery era. A 1979 trade cost the Clippers, then playing in San Diego, the chance to pick first in 1986.
The pick was sent to the Sixers for Joe “Jellybean” Bryant — also known as Kobe’s father. A later trade sent the pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers before it was used on five-time All-Star Brad Daugherty.
Grizzlies trade out of epic 2003 lottery
Back when the Memphis Grizzlies called Vancouver home, the franchise made a minor 1997 offseason move to acquire veteran forward Otis Thorpe from the Pistons. All it cost them was their 2003 first-round pick, which meant drafting someone who was roughly 13-15 years old at the time of the move.
Who knew that the pick would wind up at No. 2 the year LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Melo and Chris Bosh would be top-five picks? Then again, who knew the Pistons would whiff with the selection of Darko Milicic and still win the championship that same season?