Joe Johnson, Reggie Evans says Nets are way different than 2013 team with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
The Brooklyn Nets have been able to build a championship-caliber team by adding All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency. It was a tough rebuild for the franchise, but their patience ultimately paid off.
But not so long ago, the Nets tried to do a shortcut to building a contender. In 2013, they traded a huge amount of assets just to acquire aging veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics. That year, Brooklyn thought it could replicate Boston’s success from 2008-2010. Unfortunately, KG and The Truth were obviously way past their primes.
Moreover, the Nets had to surrender three first-round picks to the Celtics in the trade, which didn’t help their rebuild when they decided to let Garnett and Pierce walk away after just a couple of seasons. In short, the risk they took failed big time.
But Brooklyn is back in the title picture now, and former Nets players players are optimistic about the team’s future.
In an interview with Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press, Joe Johnson, who played with the Nets in 2013, said he believes the team can achieve what they wanted several years ago, which is to contend for titles:
“I think they’re going to be great. I think it’s a lot different now.”
The difference Johnson is talking about is the timing of Durant and Irving’s acquisition. Both players are still in their primes and could still lead the team to multiple trips to the Finals before they start to decline.
Reggie Evans, also a member of the 2013 Nets team, believes Brooklyn won’t fail to win a championship this time around, as he sees KD and Kyrie as players with high basketball IQ:
“So what we got was smart, wise guys who know the game. Very smart, you know what I’m saying?. So it’s two different scenarios, but I like what they’ve got going on.”
Time will tell if the Nets can live up to the expectations. First, they will need to wait and see if Durant can come back to his superstar form after fully recover from his Achilles injury. Only then will we find out if Brooklyn’s risk of signing him and Irving was worth it.