Former Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King made hundreds of deals and transactions during his time with the franchise, but he was only known for one — unfortunately. In 2013, King traded for Boston Celtics veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Marshon Brooks, and Kris Humphries together with the Nets’ first-round draft picks of 2014, 2106, and 2018.
This was done in hopes of making a team that is ready to compete for a championship. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out the way they wanted to. The Nets did make the playoffs that year but they weren’t anywhere close to being a championship contender and were immediately booted out in the first round.
Billy King was recently interviewed by Chris Mannix for Sports Illustrated and was asked about his time in Brooklyn.
It’s overstating it to say the deal haunts King. But it’s close. He admits he revisits it in his mind routinely. He thinks about the number of picks he included, and what would have happened if he fought to take one of them off the table. He thinks about the swap rights, and what might have been had he said no.
Said King, “I go back and forth all the time.”
Part of the regret the Billy King has is probably because of the draft assets that they let go in that infamous trade. Those picks came at a good price for the Celtics as they eventually became players that are significant parts of their franchise in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Furthermore, one of those picks also allowed them to grab Kyrie Irving in a trade.
The Nets, meanwhile, have been struggling in their rebuild as they do not have the necessary assets to be able to get players through the draft or acquire potential star players via trades.