The Nets may not have gotten far when it came to Doc Rivers taking over their bench, but that won’t keep them from trying for the next best thing from the Celtics.
The New York Daily News reports that Nets general manager Billy King has asked the Celtics about acquiring Kevin Garnett. While Garnett has a no-trade clause that he has previously said he would not waive, Rivers’ departure from Boston could change his mind, especially with the Celtics quickly moving toward rebuilding mode.
The Nets were the first team to ask for permission to speak to Rivers. They asked to talk to the coach before it was even suspected that he would leave the Celtics for another team, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge turned them down.
Now, the Nets are doing their due diligence and trying to see whether the 37-year-old Garnett would be interested in playing alongside Deron Williams and Joe Johnson in Brooklyn, according to the report. While a move would be difficult — Garnett has two years and $24.4 million remaining on his contract, and Brooklyn is in the same division as Boston — Garnett has drawn interest before from the Nets, who need a quality big man and leader.
The Nets “didn’t get an answer” from the Celtics about a possible trade, according to the Daily News.
The Daily News also said that Paul Pierce, whom the Celtics are likely to move as they scale down, is “probably also on Brooklyn’s radar.”
Ainge said this week that, while the Celtics are retooling for the future, he’s not sure what that means for the current roster just yet.
“I’m anxious to go through the [rebuilding] process,” he said, according to ESPN. “We don’t know when that’s going to happen, if that’s going to happen this summer or if that’s going to happen next summer. We’ve been ready. We’ve been gearing up for that possibility.”
That includes whether Pierce and Garnett stay or go.
“I love Paul and KG, and we haven’t made that decision yet,” he said. “KG’s under contract, and Paul we have an option on in five days from now, and those are very big decisions for us. But those decisions — I’m not certain about either one of those.”
He may have a suitor already waiting.