Nets news: Billy King almost traded for Chris Paul, targeted Carmelo Anthony
The trade between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics prior to the 2013-14 NBA season will perhaps go down as one of the most lopsided deals in league history. The Nets essentially gave up four first-round picks in exchange for aging superstars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
However, it is a deal that could have gone in a completely different direction if things went according to plan for former Nets general manager Billy King. King recently told Michael Smeltz of SB Nation that they had originally targeted a few other superstars in their prime to pair up with Pierce and Garnett, rather than Deron Williams:
“The first person I went after was Chris Paul, I don’t think anybody ever knew that. We had a lot of conversations about Paul but that didn’t go anywhere,” King said. “Then we went after Carmelo and then Deron Williams was there.”
Despite the disaster that unfolded in Brooklyn in the years that followed, things could have been much different had they been able to deal for either player — especially Paul. There is no doubt the Nets would have been much more formidable with him running the point on a team that already had two budding All-stars in Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez.
However, they ended up with Williams and the rest is history. Brooklyn is still in the early stages of the rebuilding process while the Celtics have seemingly set themselves up for Eastern Conference supremacy for years to come.