It’s a done deal – the Minnesota Timberwolves have acquired Kevin Garnett from the Brooklyn Nets for Thaddeus Young.
Garnett, who turns 39 in May, is in the final season of a 3 year, $36 million deal and opted to waive his no-trade clause in order to facilitate the move. In 42 games with Brooklyn this season, he averaged 20.3 minutes, 6.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists on 45% shooting.
Of course, Garnett was drafted by the Timberwolves with the 5th overall pick of the 1995 NBA Draft and is universally considered the best player in the franchise’s history. In 12 seasons with Minnesota, KG averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and 4.5 assists, winning league MVP honors in 2004. Garnett led the Wolves to the Western Conference Finals that same year, the only time in the team’s history they’ve made it past the first round of the playoffs.
Thad Young was acquired from the Sixers as part of the Love-for-Wiggins megadeal, as the Wolves sent a lottery-protected first round pick (via Miami), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved to Philadelphia in exchange for his services. Young, who averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a member of the Timberwolves, has an early termination option in his contract which could make him a free agent this summer, which likely factored into the decision to deal him away.
Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press is reporting that the Wolves would like to give Kevin Garnett a two year extension, meaning this wouldn’t just be a 29-game farewell tour for The Big Ticket.
Steve McPherson wrote about the potential deal earlier today, and now that it’s a reality, his analysis is still worth a look. Obviously, the Wolves are hoping Garnett can help change the culture and lead the talented group of young players, including Andrew Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad, Zach LaVine, Anthony Bennett and Gorgui Dieng. While the idea is nice, it’s fair to wonder if they paid too big a price, or if they really gave Thad Young a long enough look in Minnesota.
Either way, Kevin Garnett is coming home. Tickets are on sale now. See you at Target Center.