NBA free agency recap: Nets become Celtics South with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest movement this offseason came between two Atlantic Division teams when the Brooklyn Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics.

It's rare to see teams in the same division make big deals, but the Brooklyn Nets became contenders by adding Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce while the Boston Celtics worked on their rebuilding process.

It was a definite power move for the Nets: after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs and watching their crosstown rivals, the New York Knicks, keep playing, Mikhail Prokhorov's squad went for the full revamp. They added Jason Kidd as their coach and brought in two of the best ever to play the game in Garnett and Pierce, perennial all-stars and teammates on the Celtics' 2008 championship team. Throw in Kirilenko for cheap, and this team easily becomes one of the Eastern Conference's best squads.

Don't fret for the Celtics, though: they've got enough first-round draft picks over the next few seasons that it will be hard for them not to find quality players capable of once again making them a top squad in the East.

Meanwhile, the Knicks were less convincing about remaining a contender in the East. They also made an intra-division trade, bringing in Andrea Bargnani, adding a third enormous contract to their already bloated payroll, while losing a cheaper player with the same mindset in Chris Copeland. Like the Celtics, the Sixers recommitted to the rebuild, letting Andrew Bynum walk and dealing Jrue Holiday while bringing in top picks Jrue Holiday and Michael Carter-Williams along with a fully new front office.

Boston Celtics

Returning players under contract: Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Jordan Crawford, Fab Melo, Shavlik Randolph, Courtney Lee

Added Lost
Draft Kelly Olynyk
Free Agents

Vitor Faverani

Phil Pressey

Chris Wilcox

Trades

MarShon Brooks

Gerald Wallace

Kris Humphries

Keith Bogans

Kevin Garnett

Paul Pierce

Jason Terry

D.J. White

Waivers

Terrence Williams

Kris Joseph

The Celtics' trade of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets was the signal of major change, but arguably the coaching swap of Doc Rivers for Brad Stevens was the most surprising offseason move. There is still a solid returning roster led by Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger, but there are now complications in how the new pieces fill in the holes. Hard-nosed veteran Gerald Wallace is the biggest return in the Pierce-Garnett trade, but guard MarShon Brooks might be the most intriguing addition. Boston also added two talented rookies in stretch forward Kelly Olynyk and undrafted but underrated point guard Phil Pressey.

Brooklyn Nets

Returning players under contract: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Reggie Evans, Tornike Shengelia, Mirza Teletovic, Tyshawn Taylor

Added Lost
Draft Mason Plumlee

Free Agents

Andray Blatche

Andrei Kirilenko

Shaun Livingston

Alan Anderson

C.J. Watson

Jerry Stackhouse

Trades

Paul Pierce

Kevin Garnett

Jason Terry

Gerald Wallace

Kris Humphries

MarShon Brooks

Keith Bogans

Kris Joseph

Waivers

D.J. White

It wasn't just a hop, skip and a jump forward when the Brooklyn Nets pulled off the blockbuster of the summer, acquiring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry for a package including Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans. It was a monumental leap in the winning direction for a team that always had talent but added players who all have used their own skill sets to win titles. Also impressively, free agent Andrei Kirilenko got a Russian discount to join the Nets and owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Simply put, first-year coach Jason Kidd has the roster -- now he must figure out the best way to utilize it.

New York Knicks

Returning players under contract: Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert

Added Lost
Draft Tim Hardaway Jr.
Free Agents

Metta World Peace

J.R. Smith

C.J. Leslie

Pablo Prigioni

Kenyon Martin

Chris Copeland

Trades

Andrea Bargnani

Marcus Camby

Steve Novak

Quentin Richardson

Waivers

James White

Retirement

Jason Kidd

New York's success last season eventually became overshadowed by injuries. J.R. Smith wasn't 100 percent in the playoffs as he battled a knee issue that led to surgery this summer, but the re-signing of Smith is a message -- right or wrong. The Knicks aren't going to give up on something that worked for most of last year. Getting younger by drafting Tim Hardaway Jr., signing free agent rookie C.J. Leslie and watching Jason Kidd start a coaching career, the Knicks also added size with shot-happy power forward Andrea Bargnani, who effectively replaces what Chris Copeland and Steve Novak were in 2012-13. Additionally, the Knicks brought back Pablo Prigioni, Kenyon Martin and recruited Metta World Peace to add some veteran toughness to their core. How far will it take them? It's hard to say. But is it an improvement on last year's team? Probably.

Philadelphia 76ers

Returning players under contract: Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, Jason Richardson, Spencer Hawes, Kwame Brown, Lavoy Allen, Arnett Moultrie, Justin Holiday

Added Lost
Draft

Free Agents

Dorell Wright

Nick Young

Trades

Nerlens Noel (via draft-day trade)

Royce White

Furkan Aldemir

Jrue Holiday

Pierre Jackson (via draft-day trade)

Waivers

James Anderson

Tim Ohlbrecht

The 76ers' rebuilding project is truly starting with a ground-up approach. New general manager Sam Hinkie shipped out recently crowned All-Star Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans in order to acquire Nerlens Noel. Other than that draft-day trade, Philadelphia has been relatively quiet this offseason. Hinkie, a former Houston Rockets executive, traded for troubled forward Royce White, who didn't play last season because of his off-court anxiety issues, and also picked up two former Rockets in James Anderson and Tim Ohlbrecht via the waiver wire. There are some talented returning pieces in Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, and it appears development is the first priority in Philly.

Toronto Raptors

Returning players under contract: Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Kyle Lowry, Aaron Gray, DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Quincy Acy, Jonas Valanciunas, Terrence Ross

Added Lost
Draft

Free Agents

Tyler Hansbrough

D.J. Augustin

Dwight Buycks

Linas Kleiza

Alan Anderson

John Lucas III

Trades

Steve Novak

Quentin Richardson

Andrea Bargnani

Waivers

Toronto finally shed the contract of Andrea Bargnani, but the package the franchise received for the former No. 1 overall pick wasn't great. Steve Novak can act as a Bargnani type as a dead-eye shooter, but veteran center Marcus Camby was waived and swingman Quentin Richardson will either be waived or traded. Adding depth by signing Tyler Hansbrough and D.J. Augustin away from the Pacers -- not to mention summer league standout Dwight Buycks -- was nice, but the theme in Toronto is about developing the talent already established around swingman Rudy Gay.

More from SB Nation:

Kenny Anderson reveals being sexually abused

The Dwight Howard Effect

Luis Scola traded to Pacers | Ziller: Pacers may be East’s best

What cap space and exceptions do teams have left?

The top 61 rookies at NBA Summer League

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.