clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Billy King and Jason Kidd on a unique day


Billy King and Jason Kidd spoke to the media on Friday, offering up thoughts on the mechanics (King) and the consequences (Kidd) of a day that saw the Nets add Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry to the team, the biggest one-day haul in franchise history.

King admitted that the Celtics trade came together faster than he expected and offered no apologies for the Kirilenko signing. Kidd accepted the high expectations that have now been thrust him --and his mostly new staff, saying the goal remains the gold trophy and if that means getting past Miami, so be it.

"Did I think we could pull something like this off? No," King said via conference call, noting that the deal started off with an offer for Paul Pierce. League sources say the deal essentially was two deals, one for Pierce that was already a done deal by the morning of Draft Day. Pierce would be dealt to the Nets for Kris Humphries and the Nets 2016 first round pick.

Then, with encouragement from ownership, King began talking to Boston about an expanded deal, one that would deliver Kevin Garnett for Gerald Wallace, other pieces and picks. Later the Celtics demanded that the Nets accept Terry, said league sources. Ultimately, nine players and three draft picks changed hands, the largest deal in team history. The deal was so complicated that the Nets needed to accept D.J. White late in negotiations. He is expected to be cut.

The key to the expanded trade was getting Garnett to waive his no-trade clause. King said he, Kidd and Deron Williams all pitched in to help Garnett to make the decision. The Nets also agreed to guarantee Garnett's full $12 million salary in 2014-15. By the middle of the first round of the draft that night, the Nets knew they had a deal, King said.

The picks sent to Boston, in 2014, 2016 and 2018, did give the Nets pause, King said. "We had a lot of pause, a lot of hesitation," King said. "We started looking at the picks and what we would be giving up. We made the decision where we thought we would be at the time of the picks," meaning a contender whose picks would be low.

King also dismissed complaints about Pierce and Garnett's ages. "I hope people keep questioning Pierce and KG’s age," King said. "The workload will not be as much as it has been in the past and I just enjoy the fact people are questioning them because they’ll go out and prove people wrong."

As for anonymous complaints suggesting some under-the-table benefits swayed Kirilenko to sign, King said simply, "I can’t control what people think, what they say. I think some of the same things were said when Miami got the Big Three together or guys have moved around. When things happen, people are surprised. My conscience is clean. I know in dealing with [Kirilenko's agent] Marc Fleisher and getting this deal done, I can’t control what people think."

He also said that initially he didn't think he could get it done, that his "Plan B" actually was centered another player he wouldn't (actually couldn't) name, but decided to make contract with Kirilenko. “I made that call and got, ‘No, I don’t think so,’ and then made another call and they said, ‘I’ll think about it.’ ”

Kidd, in Orlando with the winless summer league squad, said of Miami, "They’re the blueprint. They’re the champs. They’ve won it twice, they could have won it three times in a row. When they put that team together to try to win championships, and they’ve had a lot of success. If you want to compete with them you have to have horses, and I think we have that."

Meanwhile, the Nets marketing machine was gearing up. Brett Yormark sent season ticket-holders a message congratulating King; the Nets Russian language site was headlining an image of Kirilenko in Nets gear and the Nets Store was shopping all manner of Pierce, Garnett, Terry and Kirilenko jerseys.