(Reuters) - The Brooklyn Nets officially acquired Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Boston Celtics on Friday as part of a nine-player blockbuster trade that puts them on the short list of NBA title contenders.
The rebuilding Celtics, who also agreed to part ways with Jason Terry and D.J. White, will receive Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Boston were additionally given the right to swap first-round picks in 2017 as part of a trade that was agreed to in principle at last month’s NBA Draft but could not be made official until a moratorium on transactions was lifted.
“Today, the basketball gods smiled on the Nets,” team owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement. “With the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, we have achieved a great balance on our roster between veteran stars and young talents. This team will be dazzling to watch, and tough to compete against.”
Garnett, a 15-time All Star, has averaged 19.1 points and 10.5 rebounds a game over his 18-year career.
Ten-time All-Star Pierce, a 15-year veteran, ranks fifth all-time in career three-pointers made (1,823), while averaging 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
Terry, a 14-year NBA veteran, has averaged 15.7 points and 4.5 assists per game, and was a member of the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.
“We are excited to welcome Kevin, Paul and Jason to Brooklyn,” said Nets General Manager Billy King. “All three players have championship pedigree and possess the veteran qualities that will make us a stronger team.”
Pierce and Garnett teamed up to help the Celtics win their NBA-record 17th league championship in 2008.
“We would like to thank Paul, Kevin, and Jason for everything that they have done for this franchise,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement.
“We would not have won Banner 17 without Paul and Kevin and they will go down amongst the all-time great players to have ever worn a Celtics uniform.”
The Nets were also expected soon to announce the signing of Russian forward Andrei Kirilenko to a two-year contract, according to local media reports.
The acquisition of Kirilenko, who opted out of the final year of his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, would push the Nets’ current payroll to about $100 million, a total that would cost Russian billionaire Prokhorov more than $80 million in NBA luxury tax.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York,; Editing by Frank Pingue