The Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics both made statements on Thursday, with a trade that signals the intentions of both teams going forward.
The Nets are going for a Championship.
The Celtics are starting over.
The basketball world was shook to it's core when the Celts dealt Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and Paul Pierce to the Nets for three first-round picks (2014, 16, 18), Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries' expiring contract, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph and a sign-and-trade deal with Keith Bogans. This deal, subject to confirmation from the league, represents yet another bold move for the Nets as they look to establish themselves as an NBA super-power, while it signals the end of an era in Boston.
Although it was far from the biggest surprise of the 2013 NBA draft, the Chicago Bulls’ first-round pick raised plenty of eyebrows. Armed with a pair of selections in the hunt to build a team that can challenge Miami in the postseason, Chicago appears to have whiffed on at least one of the two.
Here’s a look at both new additions to the Bulls’ roster and what they bring (or fail to bring) to Derrick Rose’s team.
SG Tony Snell, New Mexico (Round 1, No. 20 overall): D+
In principle, Tony Snell checks off most of the boxes the Bulls were expected to look for in their first-round selection. He’s a big shooting guard who can play the 2 or the 3, knock down the three-pointer and play a little defense.
He just doesn’t do any of it all that well.
The New Mexico product is coming from a solid defensive team, but he’s not a playmaker who will force a bunch of turnovers. He’s a good long-range shooter but not a great one, and he’s a dreadful rebounder for his 6’7” height (2.6 boards per game).
If reports are to be believed, the Chicago Bulls are actively pursuing a trade involving their All-Star Small Forward Luol Deng, a deal that could possibly be concluded before Thursday's NBA Draft. Sources suggest the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards are putting together packages involving the number one and three picks respectively. With no obvious quality atop the draft this year, this would be a small price to pay for a player of Deng's ability.
The former Duke Blue Devil has long been one of the most underrated players in the league. An efficient scorer who has evolved into one of the better perimeter defenders in the NBA, swingmen like Deng are hard to find. This makes the decision by the Bulls to explore possible trade possibilities an extremely strange one.
The Chicago Bulls hold the 20th overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, and the team has no shortage of concerns that the selection could be used to address. From the near-certain free-agent departure of playoff hero Nate Robinson to the perpetual quest for shooters around Derrick Rose, the Bulls have plenty of directions they could go with the pick.
Based on the group of players likely to remain on the board when the Bulls make their choice, these three are the most promising for Chicago’s future:
1. Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
It’s kind of amazing that the Bulls have any shot at the player who entered college as the No. 2-ranked freshman in the country (trailing only probable top pick Nerlens Noel). However, Muhammad’s stock has already slid as far as the late lottery by many projections, so it would only take another few spots to leave him available to Chicago.
When Jason Kidd retired from a 19-year playing career just a matter of weeks ago, I doubt even he expected what was to come next.
Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets.
Wednesday's announcement sent shockwaves through the Basketball world. The 40 year old has no coaching experience whatsoever, yet he did enough in his interview to convince the Nets that he was the right man to take the franchise forward. He subsequently signed a three-year deal and will start immediately.
Certainly a bold move, very much in-keeping with their new philosophy since their arrival in Brooklyn under Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
There is very much a 'Boom or Bust' element to this hiring. Despite a glorious career in the NBA, which will no doubt make Kidd a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, he has zero coaching experience at any level. Kidd has stated he has been studying for the role for some time, but there is no substitute for experience and many feel this is too large a step for Kidd, who may have been better off taking an assistant coaching job first to learn the ins-and-outs of the game.
However, with big risk comes big reward.