Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, two future Hall of Famers, are heading to Brooklyn in a blockbuster trade that could tip the balance of power in the Eastern Conference.
The Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics agreed to the trade late Thursday night in the midst of the NBA draft. The deal, which cannot be consummated until July 10 for salary-cap purposes, was confirmed by two people involved in the talks.
The teams completed the deal when Garnett agreed to waive his no-trade clause. In exchange, the Nets agreed to fully guarantee the $12 million he is owed in 2014-15.
The Celtics will receive Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans, Toko Shengelia and Keith Bogans, as well as three first-round draft picks, in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The Nets will obtain Garnett, Pierce and Jason Terry. Bogans, a free agent, will be sent to Boston in a sign-and-trade deal.
The trade thrusts the Nets squarely into contention in the East, with the size, experience and versatility to challenge the Miami Heat, the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks. Pierce and Garnett will provide the defense and the tenacity that the Nets sorely lacked this past season, when they won 49 games but failed to get out of the first round of the playoffs. They join a lineup that already features three All-Star talents in Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez.
Garnett had preferred to finish his career in Boston, but the departure of coach Doc Rivers opened the door for a trade, and the inclusion of Pierce, his close friend, made the deal palatable.
Draft: Anthony Bennett became the first Canadian No. 1 overall pick, and Nerlens Noel tumbled out of the top five and right into a trade in a surprising start to an unsettled NBA draft.
One of the favorites to be taken first Thursday night, Noel fell to No. 6, where the New Orleans Pelicans took him and then dealt his rights to the Philadelphia 76ers for a package headlined by All-Star guard Jrue Holiday, according to a person familiar with the details.
The Cleveland Cavaliers started things by passing on centers Noel and Alex Len, who went to Phoenix at No. 5, in favor of Bennett, the UNLV freshman forward who starred for Canada's junior national teams and was the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year.
"I'm just as surprised as anyone else," Bennett said.
There was suspense right until the end, either because the Cavs were unsure whom they wanted or were trying to trade the pick.
Most predictions had them taking one of the big men, with Noel largely considered the favorite for the No. 1 choice even after a torn ACL that ended his lone season at Kentucky in February.
"I thought everything was in the air, so I wasn't thinking I was the No. 1 pick," Noel said.
David Stern, booed heavily in his final draft as commissioner, added to the surprise of the moment by pausing slightly before announcing the Cavs' pick.
Orlando passed on both of the big men, too, going with Indiana swingman Victor Oladipo with the No. 2 pick. Washington took Otto Porter Jr. with the third pick, keeping the Georgetown star in town.
Bennett, Noel and Len are all coming off injuries and couldn't even work out for teams, but the Cavs decided Bennett's shoulder surgery wasn't enough cause for concern.
The first round was capped by Hakeem Olajuwon coming on stage to greet Stern, dressed in the same tuxedo style he wore when Stern called his name to start the soon-to-be retired commissioner's first draft in 1984.
Grizzlies: Dave Joerger was introduced as coach of the Memphis Grizzlies after a season in which they won a franchise-best 56 games but split with coach Lionel Hollins. Joerger was a successful head coach in the minor leagues and was the lead assistant under Hollins the past two seasons.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.