What The Sixers, Celtics & Nets Trades Mean For The Knicks

Matthew Falkenbury

The 76ers, Celtics and Nets all made moves to change over their rosters drastically last night.

First the Sixers acquired the rights to Nerlens Noel and a 2014 First Round Pick from the New Orleans Pelicans for Jrue Holiday.030513_Sixers_Boston_600

Then of course the Celtics and Nets completed a blockbuster trade that changes the landscape of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

The Celtics sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for 2014, 2016, 2018 first round picks, along with Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks and Tornike Shengelia or Kris Joseph (depending on which report you read) along with a sign and trade for Keith Bogans.

Two trades had All-Star talent either leaving the division or swapping teams within the division.

So with all that said, how will these trades affect how the Knicks look at things heading into the off-season.

The Jrue Holliday Trade

For the Knicks, they should have big smiles on their face because the only player besides Rondo last year that gave them more fits within the division is now off to the Big Easy.

Holiday at times was basically unstoppable against the Knicks and really took advantage of the poor perimeter defense they had during the middle of the season.

He went to the rim with ease, had open jump shots time and time again and did a great job pushing the ball up the floor. The game in January in Philadelphia I saw in person and watched in horror as Holiday did basically whatever he wanted against a Knicks team that was totally uninterested from the opening tip.

To hear he was traded away was one of the best pieces of news any Knicks fan could have heard last night.

For the Sixers, they got Noel, a candidate for the #1 pick who is coming off a torn ACL, and an additional first round pick (protected 1-3 or 1-5 based on different reports) in what should be a loaded draft next year.

They also drafted Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams with the 11th overall pick.

Noel is a question mark with his knee but the Sixers should be used to centers with knee injuries coming in major trades. He is a talented player and could be, if healthy, a nice defensive presence around the rim.

To me this seems like the Sixers were willing to punt this season, develop young players and hope beyond hope the ping pong balls go their way to draft Andrew Wiggins #1 next year.

Holiday was an All-Star and the best player on the Sixers a year ago. It’s hard to get better when you trade him away. It could be a long season in Philadelphia

The Celtics-Nets Blockbuster

Now this one could be looked at in two different ways.

1. The Nets decide to trade every non factor piece to the Celtics for their two (albeit past their prime) superstars to make a run at the Heat and try to pass the Knicks in the Atlantic Division.

2. The Celtics find a patsy in the Nets where they get a chance to rebuild faster, dump two over the hill players and allow themselves to give Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo the reigns of this team for the foreseeable future.

This trade was a winner for both teams actually.

Why? Because everyone has a reason to hate it and everyone has another reason to love it.

The Celtics have a chance to start fresh, bring in some youth, clear money off the books quickly and if worse comes to worse, punt the 2013 season and get some players in the stacked 2014 class. They get extra first round picks they can use whatever way they want and overall finally move on from the 2008 title team and look forward.

The negative is that they had to take back Gerald Wallace’s ridiculous contract. Plus, if the Nets really get on a roll for years to come off of this trade then those picks in ’16 and ’18 might not be worth much as low first rounders.

For the Nets, they are a win now team and they just took it to a whole new level. They have a great starting lineup with Williams, Johnson, Pierce, Garnett and Lopez. They free up some money by knowing that Pierce and Garnett are only under contract for one and two years respectively. And they get to challenge not only the Knicks in the division but the Heat for the East.

The negative is that they are putting a ton of money and hope that Pierce and Garnett stay healthy and remain productive while a rookie head coach is able to mesh these all-stars into one cohesive unit.

For the Knicks they now know that the “rivalry” has just gone up a few notches. It is well known that Pierce and Garnett don’t like them and the Knicks feel the same way. Plus Jason Terry gets to come along for the ride and he isn’t too popular either.

The battle for the Atlantic Division is truly a two team race. The battles between the Knicks and the Nets are going to be unreal. If you thought the hype and excitement last year was off the charts, you haven’t seen anything yet.

The Knicks overall saw two teams in the division get worse (or even much worse) while another take a giant leap forward in trying to take away their spot atop the division.

I will be curious to see how it all plays out on the court, but on paper, things got a whole lot interesting after last night.