Harvey Araton of the Times interviewed Danny Ainge before his Celtics manhandled the Knicks Wednesday night at the Garden, and talked about the rebuilding process. It didn't take long before the 2013 Nets- Celtics trade became a topic of discussion.
Ainge who got three unprotected first round picks and a swap of first rounders in the deal said he didn't think he did that well on the night of June 27, 2013 (right up there with Pearl Harbor for Nets fans).
"I honestly did not look at that deal as a bonanza at the time," Ainge told Araton. "We really thought the most likely scenario would be that all of those picks would be in the 20s. I mean, they had Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, and we believed that Kevin and Paul still had a lot left in them to be subservient players, in the way Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are now in San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge."
After a pause, Ainge added: "They had injuries with Williams and Lopez. Obviously, it hasn’t worked out the way they would have wanted."
As Araton notes, "Basketball understatement of the century."
Now of course, Billy King is out of a job and Ainge is working another rebuild. There are reports Wednesday that he's talking to the Rockets about Dwight Howard, perhaps using one or more of his three remaining Nets assets to pry him loose. As for the Nets, they have no GM, per se. Frank Zanin, King's assistant, is still that, nothing more. Unlike Tony Brown, he doesn't have "interim" attached to his title. Zanin will take the calls until the committee Mikhail Prokhorov put together finds a new GM. Then again, there may not be that many calls. All the Nets good assets reside in Danny Ainge's computer.