Exclusive: "If I were to go back, I'd have taken the swaps out" - Former Sixers and Nets GM Billy King on his worst trade ever involving Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce

Former Sixers and Nets GM Billy King on his worst trade ever involving Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce
Former Sixers and Nets GM Billy King on his worst trade ever involving Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce
Billy King discussed the trade he made to acquire Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Billy King discussed the trade he made to acquire Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Former Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King went all in in 2013 when he acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics. However, King also sent three first-round picks and a pick swap to Boston.

Speaking to Jeff Skversky on Sportskeeda's exclusive podcast, "Inside The Huddle," King discussed what it was like being an NBA general manager. He was the Philadelphia 76ers' GM from 1998 to 2007. He was then hired by the Nets in 2010 before getting re-assigned in 2016.

Skversky also asked King what his best and worst trades were as an executive. The 56-year-old Duke product revealed that acquiring Eric Snow and Dikembe Mutombo were his best decisions. Snow arrived in 1998, while Mutombo was added at the 2001 trade deadline.

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"Two of the best was probably getting Mutombo, obviously, because I think that was piece that we needed at the time, and Eric Snow," King said. "We traded a future second round pick to get Eric Snow. He was the fourth point guard on Seattle, wasn't playing."

Snow and Mutombo were integral parts of the 2001 Sixers team that made it to the NBA Finals led by Allen Iverson.

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Meanwhile, Billy King was very honest that the worst trade of his career was the Nets deal that nabbed two future Hall of Famers. Some critics have called the deal the worst trade in NBA history due to the number of picks involved and the failure of Brooklyn to win a championship.

But despite the criticism, King defended the trade because they went all in and tried to contend for the next two seasons. The only thing he regrets is putting on the pick swap for the 2017 NBA draft. The swapped pick turned into Jayson Tatum, who is the Celtics' current franchise player.

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Around the 19-min mark, Billy King discusses the trade that went wrong for so many reasons:

"The worst one was probably the Brooklyn trade with Boston," King said. "If I had to go back around, I would have taken the swaps out. I think we had the swap rights in the odd year and they got a pick.
"The three firsts, I was okay with. It was the swap rights. I think if I could have taken that out, it would have gave the team a little more protection there on those off years."
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Billy King's worst trade ever

Billy King of the Brooklyn Nets at the Press Conference Announcing Firing Of Head Coach Avery Johnson
Billy King of the Brooklyn Nets at the Press Conference Announcing Firing Of Head Coach Avery Johnson

During the 2013 offseason, former Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King made the worst trade of his career. King sent Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, and Keith Bogans to the Celtics.

In return, the Nets acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. They won their first playoff series together, but that was the height of their success. Pierce left after one season, with Garnett getting traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2015.

Meanwhile, the Celtics used the 2016 first-round pick on Jaylen Brown and the 2017 pick swap to draft Jayson Tatum. Brown and Tatum led Boston to an NBA Finals berth last season.

The Nets might have recovered in the past few seasons by adding Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. However, they are in limbo once again after Durant requested a trade before the start of free agency.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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