In a conversation with Bill Simmons, Danny Ainge talks about the trade that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets, saying that a number of factors helped get the deal done, not the least of which was the "connection" Pierce has with Deron Williams and Jason Kidd: they share Jeff Schwartz as an agent.
Ainge thinks the Schwartz connection was a big motivator for Pierce who in turn helped KG decide to give up his no-trade clause and join him in Brooklyn (although Ainge, from habit, referred to New Jersey as the Nets home.)
"I also think that Paul has a connection with having the same agent as Deron Williams and Jason Kidd," said the Celtics GM. "I think probably there was some discussion going on there. I don't know that for sure, but my guess is that they had some conversation about it, that Paul was the one that talked KG into wanting to do the deal or letting go of his no-trade clause to make the deal happen and that took some convincing."
Ainge said the deal came together in a roundabout way but didn't provide any details.
"Like a lot of trades, it evolved from something completely different into a bigger deal. something that I really didn't think would happen," Ainge told Bill Simmons on his Grantland podcast, "simply because it takes sort of a special, unique circumstance in order for a trade like that to go through, and the tax ramifications of Brooklyn are I would call unique in today's day and age in the NBA right now with the new CBA.
"But a team that was really going for it, and money was not an object. That was probably the reason why we got a better offer today than we would've even gotten 2 or 3 years ago."
Ainge also implied that he sent Pierce to a team he wanted to play for. "We wanted to do right by Paul just because of what he's done for our franchise."
As for Garnett, Ainge said the possibility of winning --and working with Kidd-- drove his willingness to give up the no-trade clause (although the Nets agreeing to guarantee his full salary in 2014-15) didn't hurt.
"Kevin also wanted to win. I think Paul going and Jason Terry going. That was a huge help ... two guys that KG really respects. And i think the Jason Kidd coaching. Jason has been through playing basketball in his late 30's up to 40 and what he has just gone through I think that he probably able to tell KG that 'I've been through this. I know how the body is and I won't wear you out. I'll save you for the important times of the season'."
Ainge, like his former coach, Doc Rivers, thinks Pierce and Garnett have something left.
"Him and KG, the combination of those two are just what the other one needed. ... I just think it came to the point where those guys as the best two players on a team aren't going to go very far. Those guys as a 3rd and 4th, or 4th and 5th, however you look at it, are pretty dang good still."
The Nets ultimately received Pierce, Garnett, Terry, D.J. White (later cut) for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks and Kris Joseph (also cut) and the Nets' 2014, 2016 and 2018 first rounders as well as an agreement to swap firsts in 2017.
- Danny Ainge Interview (Audio) - Bill Simmons - Grantland
Celtics GM Danny Ainge talks Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett Trade - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Danny Ainge Interviewed by Bill Simmons: Talks Rondo, KG, Pierce, Doc - Kevin O'Connor - Celtics Blog
- Simmons podcast: 60 minutes with Ainge - ESPN Boston
- Danny Ainge discusses almost trading Paul Pierce for Chris Paul in 2005 - Kevin Zimmerman - SB Nation
- Danny Ainge discusses trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, hiring Brad Stevens, Doc Rivers' departure and more - Jay King - Springfield Republican