In 2013, the Brooklyn Nets mortgaged away their future by trading for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Wanting to make a splash after moving to Brooklyn, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov instructed general manager Billy King to make the team a winner as soon as possible. So King acquired Garnett, Pierce and Jason Terry from the Boston Celtics in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans and Brooklyn's first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018. On top of all that, Boston also received the right to swap first-rounders with the Nets in 2017.

This trade has backfired on the Nets as Pierce left after a year, Garnett was a shell of his former self and Terry was traded away. Plus, Brooklyn has no first round draft picks for the next several years and if they win the No. 1 overall pick this year, it will belong to the Celtics. Which is a very likely scenario since the Nets are one of the worst teams in the league this season with a 2-11 record.

Despite this seemingly bleak future, King openly admits that while the trade for Pierce and Garnett didn't work, he believes that the Nets can quickly turn things around. 

From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

“Not having the picks, you’ve got to figure out other ways to get it, second-round picks,” King said. “If you don’t have picks, you just get young guys.”

“We took our shot and it didn’t work,” he said. “And now to see some of these guys develop and to get it back and for us to have the cap space [next summer], we can do it pretty quickly. We want to win but we knew we may take a step back when some of the decisions were made. But what I like is we’ve put ourselves in the position to beat a Golden State, we just didn’t make the right plays. That’s just learning how to win. We’re talking the steps.”

Kudos to King for staying optimistic but the reality is that the Nets are going to be bad for the next several years. Even though the Nets play in New York City, it is hard to see a marquee free agent wanting to go to such a lowly team next summer. 

King has made some "exploratory" trade calls and is doing what he can to try and make the Nets a good team again. However, if the Celtics get the No. 1 pick and end up drafting a franchise changing player like Ben Simmons, then Brooklyn's 2013 trade will look even more lopsided than it already is. 

Billy King and Mikhail Prokhorov will never live down the 2013 trade for Garnett and Pierce.
Billy King and Mikhail Prokhorov will never live down the 2013 trade for Garnett and Pierce. (USATSI)