Worst NBA trade ever? 2014 Nets-Celtics trade would have to outdo these four duds. – Washington Post

The Boston Celtics trade with the Brooklyn Nets ended up including the first pick in the NBA basketball draft. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Three years ago, the Brooklyn Nets felt they needed to complement their core group of Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson with better players if they wanted to contend in the Eastern Conference. So they did what any organization would do: they hit the phones looking for a trade partner, and found one in the Boston Celtics. And they proceeded to work out what could become the worst trade in NBA history.

The Celtics sent two future hall-of-fame players, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, along with Jason Terry and D.J. White to Brooklyn in exchange for five players plus the Nets’ first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018. In addition, Boston also got the rights to swap first-round picks in 2017.

Garnett was 37 years old when he was traded and promptly saw his Player Efficiency Rating drop from 19.2 in his last year with Boston to 13.3, his first with the Nets. He’d return to Minnesota during the 2014-15 season. Pierce was 36 the year he was traded and gave Brooklyn one season of 13.5 points and 2.0 assists per game, both career lows at the time.

Still, the trade was actually close to an even swap for Brooklyn in the short term ( … before the Celtics used a draft pick). The players Brooklyn got produced 6.6 win shares during the 2013-14 season, but the players given up had 5.8 win shares for Boston.

Then Celtics got to draft James Young in 2014 and Jaylen Brown at No. 3 overall in 2016, two players who have contributed over two wins combined. And then it all fell in the Celtics’ favor.

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