Kevin Garnett was Traded to the Boston Celtics 10 Years Ago Today

The rumors had been ongoing for months to that point. Boston? Chicago? Golden State? The eventual landing spot for Kevin Garnett was unclear, but all evidence pointed towards his glorious time in Minnesota coming to an end.

KG was traded to the Boston Celtics on this day 10 years ago; a move that we all saw coming, but also one nobody was ready for.

The trade was as follows:

Boston receives: Kevin Garnett

Minnesota receives: Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, BOS 2009 first round pick, MN 2009 first round pick (returned to them from a previous trade involving Ricky Davis and Wally Szczerbiak)

The trade seemed like a good one at the time. Al Jefferson was a budding All-Star who had just come off somewhat of a breakout year. Gerald Green was a high-ceiling teenager whose future was a giant question mark. Ryan Gomes had proven to be a solid role player. Bassy was always a slightly better point guard than his on-court reputation let on, mostly due to the hype he had coming out of high school. Theo Ratliff was….an expiring contract.

Some of this ended up being the case. Some saw Big Al is the biggest 2010 All-Star snub. Gomes and Telfair did what was expected. They even ended up with Wayne Ellington, a solid off-the-bench shooter still playing in the league today, with the pick that Boston gave to them. That said, Green’s coming out party came well after his time in Minnesota, and Ratliff held up his end of the “just an expiring” bargain.

What’s worse is what happened with those players after David Kahn took over. SB Nation did a fine job illustrating exactly what happened to the pieces turned over from the Kevin Garnett trade.

Spoiler: It’s not great, Bob.

The trade could have been worse. Having Jefferson on the team was a saving grace to an otherwise horrible period of Wolves fandom, and a couple of the other pieces had their moments (Gomes and Telfair, mainly).

And, for what it’s worth, there is likely some weird Butterfly Effect stuff going on with how the Wolves’ lack of success, the Kahn era, the Love broken hand season, Ricky Rubio’s wait for coming over, KG’s eventual return to Minnesota, all eventually turned into Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Jimmy Butler.

Looking back on Kevin Garnett’s first departure from Minnesota isn’t always the happiest time in Wolves history, but it was the definitive first step in a rebuild. Ten years later,it’s ben a long road, but the pieces are starting to come together.

Now, for some “wanna feel old???” nonsense:

When Kevin Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics….

-This was the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100

-This was the highest grossing movie in the box office

  • I had just finished my sophomore year of high school

  • The iPhone 1 was 6 months old

  •  The final Harry Potter BOOK was released

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2 Responsesso far.

  1. gjk says:

    Even with the silver lining of him getting a title the next season and finally getting Defensive POY, this was the lowest day in Wolves history. It showcased all the questionable decisions that didn’t pan out for them (dumping Rider for nothing, the Marbury/Ray Allen swap, not sign-and-trading Googs with Peeler for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell, signing Rasho for the final 2 games of the ’99 season and then losing him a year earlier than normal, drafting Szczerbiak and Will Avery instead of a number of better players, not assuring Billups he’d be the starting PG and seeing him leave for Detroit at the mid-level exception, Ndudi Ebi, Rashad McCants, Randy Foye) and all the obvious bad mistakes at the time (drafting Paul Grant instead of Bobby Jackson and then giving up a future #1 to get Jackson later, letting Terry Porter walk, choosing Joe Smith over Googs and all the illegalities that surrounded the choice, the Cassell-Jaric trade, matching the offer sheet on Trenton Hassell, giving up a 1st in the Szczerbiak/Ricky Davis trade, firing Flip, firing Dwane Casey). Just an accumulation of wasted prime. From the moment KG got his $, they knew they’d need to efficiently surround him, and they were just too wasteful and unable to find and develop other young talent.

  2. pyrrol says:

    Wow, that’s quite the recap of failure. For me, by the time it happened, it wasn’t the lowest day. You get to a point with players you respect and love to watch where you want to see them in a good environment even if it isn’t on your team anymore. With Garnett it was long past that point when we traded him. He needed to go, he deserved to go, because we couldn’t do it for him as an organization. We couldn’t even put up a shabby veneer of competence in surrounding him with viable talent. It got laughable accept it wasn’t funny. Sometimes you have to let the bird fly.

    I guess the situation is totally different, but I feel some similar things about Rubio. I’m going to miss him being on our team. But perhaps it was time he play for a team with a front office who actually is glad he’s there. Early in Rubio’s career here, he was surrounded by bad teams. And worse coaches. Eventually Love bloomed, but even those Love teams were really bad–they basically had a 3rd option at best on a championship team level player trying to lead a team of fill. And when we finally landed a good coach in Adleman, he was clearly not himself and had a short run here before he sprinted off into the sunset. After that, increasingly, Rubio was publicly on the block and seen as a placeholder. Which never did make a lot of sense given the options we had to replace him, and how well he could have complimented the core we were building. At some point his name in the rumor mills became a caricature, almost a punch line, but something that for me caused lots of stress and no laughs. Ultimately, Rubio played harder than anyone for this team during his era. His on-off numbers compare only to Garnett. And he made many really bad and mismanaged teams somewhat watchable (a feat of magic he rarely gets credit for). It’s about time the guy gets a change of scenery and some respect. I was really hoping Hayward would stay. But it could still be a fun team and a good place for Rubio. Just being fully wanted is a big upgrade for the guy. It’s a well run organization with a good coach. I’ve liked Gobert since he entered the league and think Rubio will have a lot of fun playing with him.

    Letting Garnett go basically flushed the toilet of this franchise for years–but it was not working with Garnett. We needed to rebuild with less expensive parts we could spread across a whole team, and Garnett deserved a team he could win with and make a run at a championship. In a way it was mutually needed. You could argue that us getting rid of Rubio was not mutually needed, that only Rubio needed it. Rubio was not the absolute centerpiece like Garnett, and yet we have had that since Towns (I will not argue Wiggins is a centerpiece of a winning team). One could argue that this newest iteration of the team is even more suited for Rubio, with all the rich options on offense covering for Rubio’s unspectacular scoring ability. Rubio was on a pretty good contract for his role and the things he did for the team on both sides of the ball, so unlike Garnett’s massive (and deserved) salary which required careful, efficient moves to surround him well enough to compete at a high level, Rubio didn’t paint the team into any financial box. In fact, in getting rid of him and replacing him with a more expensive not markedly more useful player we may have created a seam in our new ‘all in’ Wolves. The common thread is both these players deserved better, and I’m ultimately cheering for them to get a better period in their career over them being waster here. And when Garnett came back here he was warmly greeted (he returned the favor by thanking ‘sota after winning a championship). Rubio will see similar reaction when he returns to Target center, and with good cause.

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