By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
June 28, 2013
The big news on NBA Draft night wasn’t who was selected; it was who was traded. While the Cleveland Cavaliers surprised nearly everyone by taking forward Anthony Bennett with the first pick, the story of the night was the mega-trade that sent future hall of famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics to the Brooklyn Nets. The deal is noteworthy for both the high-profile players included and the massive salary obligation it leaves the Nets with.
Combined, Pierce and Garnett are scheduled to make about $27 million next season. Along with the rest of the Nets’ starting lineup, the group will make $82 million. The luxury tax on those five players alone with be $71 million, more than 20 teams’ entire payroll this past season. Of course none of this matters given that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is the 69th richest person in the world with a net worth of $13 billion.
As for Boston fans, the Celtics trading two of their stars culminates a terrible sports week. It started with the Bruins losing the Stanley Cup, followed by Aaron Hernandez’s murder charge. Ironically, the Red Sox went from chicken and beer in the clubhouse last year to the most stable franchise in town.