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Ex-GM Billy King admits there was pressure to make a big splash when he was hired


In 2013, the Brooklyn Nets were a budding franchise that was looking to establish itself as the next great New York team. At that time, general manager Billy King was receiving pressure from owner Mikhail Prokhorov as well as the fans to quickly build a contending team that would compete for a championship.

With that, King made a blockbuster trade in the summer to get Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry in exchange for  Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans Kris Joseph and first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

To be fair, the Nets did get to the playoffs that same year but were booted out in just the first round. The next season, Pierce was already on his way to the Washington Wizards. By 2015, Garnett was traded back to the Minnesota Timberwolves for his farewell tour.

In an article from Sports Illustrated, King shared his thoughts on the trade and what pushed him to do it.

“It was a big part but it wasn’t the only part,” King said. “I won’t say that they were sitting there hammering me, but it was a big part.” Asked if he would have made the trade if he were the GM of, say, Orlando, King says, “No.”

Looking back, the Celtics absolutely won this trade as some of those picks that were traded to them by the Nets ultimately turned into guys like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The Celtics are currently perennial title contenders and that trade was a big part of their success. On the other hand, the Nets are a struggling franchise that has had a hard time rebuilding because they let go of very valuable draft assets.