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Boston trade: the gift that keeps on giving ... for Celtics

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Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The Kevin Garnett trade provided an opportunity for a number of Boston bloggers and reporters to assess the June 2013 trade that brought KG and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn in return for a few players AND three first round picks and an agreement to swap a fourth.

While the number of picks --and lack of protections on the picks and the swap-- has received a lot of attention and criticism from pundits and fans alike, few have focused on a little noticed aspect of the deal -- the $10.3 million trade exception that Danny Ainge has skillfully rolled over to get maximum value out of other assets. Specifically, the reports focus on how the Celtics got Isaiah Thomas last week for "nothing" using secondary assets from the Pierce/Garnett trade.

It's all complicated cap talk but NESN argues that with each passing month, the deal looks better and better and warns, "The trade already has left the Nets with egg on their faces just 19 months later. If any of those future picks turns into a star for the Celtics (or is packaged in a deal for one), it’ll go down as one of the worst moves in NBA history."

NESN does note that the Nets have been able to acquire Thaddeus Young for Garnett and wound up with Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev last summer by getting in on the three-team team with the Cavaliers, which was facilitated by the $10.3 TE left over from the big deal.  But in that same deal, Boston received Tyler Zeller, Marcus Thornton and a first round pick.Those last two assets were used to acquire Thomas. Oh yeah, they got a trade exception too.

The trade already has left the Nets with egg on their faces just 19 months later. If any of those future picks turns into a star for the Celtics (or is packaged in a deal for one), it’ll go down as one of the worst moves in NBA history.

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2015/02/kevin-garnett-trade-cements-celtics-nets-blockbuster-as-one-of-worst-ever/