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Nets get (mostly) positive grades for KG-Young deal

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The trade grades are coming in and they are mostly positive for the deal the Nets did make, the Kevin Garnett for Thaddeus Young deal.

There, no doubt, will be more, but here's a first sample.

Kurt Helin, NBC Sports, A

"Garnett returning home is a nice, feel-good story, and the rebuilding Timberwolves could use one of those. But KG is long past his prime, and has little on-court value for a Timberwolves team that won’t sniff the playoffs this season. They may want to re-sign Garnett to a long-term deal, but he’s likely finished, and could only serve as a mentor to younger players for the final eight weeks or so of the current regular season.

"For the Nets, however, this is a nice move. Young is a legitimate two-way player, and has averaged 14.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 33.4 minutes per game for Minnesota this season. His contract is not unreasonable for next season at just under $10 million, but he does hold an early termination option. More importantly, Brooklyn needs guys who can contribute NOW, and Young is exactly that."

Kevin Pelton, ESPN, A

"Even at age 38, Garnett remains one of the league's better defenders, and in a vacuum I'm not sure he's worse than Young. (ESPN's real plus-minus favors Garnett.) For the Nets specifically, however, this trade is an on-court upgrade. Brooklyn had three players who were truly centers in Garnett, Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee, making it difficult to play two of the three together. In Young, the Nets get an athletic 4 (if not necessarily a stretch 4) who pairs well with their traditional big men.

"The bigger win might be financial, since Young is making $2.6 million less than Garnett this season. While that's less than $900,000 in salary over the remainder of the season, luxury-tax calculations are based on the final team salary, not salary paid. Since Brooklyn is in the tax bracket where salary is taxed at 2.5 times its cost, that means this trade saved the Nets nearly $6.5 million in tax payments, by my math, for a total savings of almost $7.5 million. To accomplish that without giving up a pick is almost unthinkable. There's a slight risk that Young opts into his contract for 2015-16, which would push Brooklyn into tax territory. Barring that, though, it's a huge positive for the Nets."

Amin Elhassan, ESPN

"For the Nets, it's a great trade. They got someone who's aging, at the end of his career, and they trade him for someone who's young, who can give them some scoring punch. And remember, if you're Brooklyn, you really can't say 'Let's shut down the shop and let's work for the lottery. They have a pick swap! So whatever pick they got, they have to give it away. They have to be as good as possible. Thad Young helps them in the short run to be continue to be good."

Tom Habertroh, ESPN

"So Thaddeus Young going to the Brooklyn Nets makes them a better team right now. And KG, what can you say, the Kid is coming back home."

Ben Dowsett, Basketball Insiders, B+

This one is relatively simple from both ends of the equation. Young just wasn’t working out in Minnesota, and will now get to try his third team in two years to capitalize on some of the promise he showed while stashed away in Philadelphia. Garnett has limited on-court value remaining at his advanced age, but will be a spectacularly heartwarming story upon his return. Reports of an attempted extension for KG appear to have been incorrect, but in any case, this move all but assures that he’ll get to retire in the city where he began his illustrious career. The Wolves are bound for the high end of the lottery regardless, and Young wasn’t likely to remain on the roster next year given an early termination option, so Flip Saunders and crew get a pass for a slightly sentimental move here.

Zach Harper, Sports Illustrated, C

"It doesn't happen every day, but the Nets just won a trade. Let's call it a modest win. The deal saves Brooklyn a pro-rated portion of the $2.4 million between Garnett's salary and Young's salary and it will also help make a dent in the Nets' luxury tax bill. Brooklyn is going nowhere fast with its current core; dumping contracts and scratching out savings in that environment is a logical and commendable thing to do."

Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo! D

"Not with a bang, but with a whimper, eh?

"We’re not discussing Garnett’s career, here. That won’t go out quietly. What is slowly fading is Billy King’s kiss-kiss-bang-bang attempts to build an over the top winner in Brooklyn, treating money as no object. After falling just short of publicly stating that former stars like Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez were available, King failed to trade all three.

"The one guy nobody thought would be traded, future Hall of Famer Garnett, was shockingly dealt home to Minnesota for the serviceable Young, who has an early termination option on his $9.9 million contract for next season that he may not utilize. It’s possible that, after a disappointing 2014-15, Young might make nearly eight figures with the Nets next season. King managed to trade Garnett for more salary beyond this year.

"We should give him an A for making Garnett fans happy, but … Grade: D"

Tim Bontemps, New York Post, "In Between"

"The Nets won the trade they made, moving Kevin Garnett to Minnesota in exchange for Thaddeus Young. It was a rare trade that makes a team younger, better and cheaper all at once.

"It’s also quite possible they are better off by not making the other rumored trade of the day — sending Lopez to Oklahoma City for a package fronted by Jackson. The Nets have learned what it’s like to deal with a moody point guard — paging Deron Williams — and Jackson would be a second one. And Jackson had turned down an offer of four years and $48 million, meaning the Nets would have had to pay him even more to get him to commit long-term.

"But this team needed to make another move to shake things up, and after the Lopez trade fell through, the Nets were stuck with no other alternative but to wait for the summer. If hanging on to Lopez and getting Young is enough to sneak into the Eastern Conference playoffs, this deadline day is a win for the Nets. If not, it’s hard to say it was."

Then, there was Avery Johnson, who when asked by Nets fan Doug Bearak gave his grade.


As for what went wrong with the trade the Nets didn't make, the one centered on Reggie Jackson for Brook Lopez, here's what Ken Berger had to say Friday about the Thunder's thinking...

As the long-range implications of the Jackson dilemma became clearer, Presti's desire to do business with Brooklyn on a deal for Lopez and Jarrett Jack diminished. Jack, 31, has another year on his contract at $6.3 million plus $500,000 guaranteed in 2016-17. Lopez, for all his injury woes, was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Thunder love certainty, and there was none in that deal.

There's surely more to come on that as well.