Monday, July 30, 2007

Kevin Garnett being TRADED to BOSTON CELTICS!?!

Who else is saddened by the news that KG could be moving to Boston? On one side, I would be happy to see KG play with Pierce and Allen, as I think they would compliment each other greatly! But, on the other side, I can't bare to think of KG in another jersey. I know there are people on both sides of this story, and both sides have good arguments. I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this story! Please leave your comments:

"The Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics, who nearly completed a blockbuster Kevin Garnett trade before the June draft, have resurrected those trade talks and are again locked in serious discussions, according to NBA front-office sources.

Multiple sources told on Sunday night that former teammates Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge have revived discussions of a deal that would end Garnett's 12-season association with Minnesota by sending him to Ainge's Celtics, with the Wolves getting back two of the assets McHale coveted most last month: Al Jefferson and Theo Ratliff's expiring contract.

The deal depends on Garnett backing off his well-chronicled unwillingness to play in Boston. Yet sources indicated late Sunday that Garnett was warming to the idea, raising hopes on both sides that the deal will finally go through.

Garnett effectively blocked the Celtics' first attempt at trading for him by making it clear, through agent Andy Miller, that he would opt out of the final year of his contract (worth $23 million) and leave the Celtics in the summer of 2008. Had it gone through with that trade anyway, Boston would have potentially been parting with the blossoming Jefferson for a one-year Garnett rental.

But Garnett could now be amenable to the move, after the fiercely loyal 31-year-old learned how far along the Wolves were in negotiations with Boston in June and with the Celtics responding to the breakdown of its initial pursuit by trading the fifth overall pick in the draft to Seattle for All-Star shooting guard Ray Allen.

Expensive as it would be to employ a trio of All-Stars -- especially since Garnett is expected to demand a lucrative, luxury tax-triggering extension from his new team -- Celtics management is understandably optimistic about selling Garnett on the prospect of teaming with Allen and franchise mainstay Paul Pierce in an Eastern Conference for the taking. The Celtics would be expected to contend for an NBA Finals berth right away if the trade goes through, no matter what they put around that trio, after Cleveland advanced to the Finals in June with not even a clear-cut second star next to LeBron James.

Yet it remains to be seen, assuming that the Celtics secure Garnett's sign-off, what kind of package Boston can provide Minnesota now that the Celtics' No. 5 pick has been used by the SuperSonics to draft Georgetown's Jeff Green. The Wolves badly wanted that pick as part of their rebuilding plans.

It's believed that the latest incarnation of the deal would have Boston adding Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair and multiple future draft picks to Jefferson and Ratliff in exchange for Garnett. It's also likely that other players would have to be added to the deal, since the salary-cap math involved would require both teams to account for Garnett's $6.75 million trade kicker.

Miller could not be reached Sunday night to provide Garnett's up-to-date stance on Boston. When the first round of Wolves-Celtics talks were made public, Miller told "If a trade [from Minnesota] were to happen, that's not a destination that we're interested in pursuing."

Garnett has said for years that he doesn't want to leave his beloved "Sota," as he calls it, and has consistently refused to push for a trade, even with the Wolves missing the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. But Boston's cause might be helped by the possibility that becoming a Celtic or returning to Minnesota after he was so vigorously shopped are Garnett's only options. reported in June that Garnett would be hoping for a trade to the Phoenix Suns if he did have to leave the only team he has ever played for. His reasons, according to sources: Garnett would prefer to play in a warm-weather city on a team with championship potential if he's forced to relocate. Another big factor: Garnett and Steve Nash have become good friends over the past few years, starting in 2005 when Garnett was one of the first players in the league to call Nash and congratulate him on his first MVP trophy.

Phoenix, Golden State and the Los Angeles Lakers all joined Boston in making hard trade pushes for Garnett before the June 28 draft. Dallas also expressed serious interest despite its inability to realistically join the chase until after July 1, when the Mavericks could again manufacture at least one cap-friendly contract to offer the Wolves.

The Suns, though, have apparently dropped out of the bidding, unable to make a deal work financially and unwilling to part with Amare Stoudemire. Golden State's chances, meanwhile, took a hit when a potential three-team Garnett trade involving Charlotte collapsed on draft night, with the Warriors deciding they couldn't wait on a maybe and proceeding instead with the trade of Jason Richardson to the Bobcats.

Sources nonetheless insist that McHale has had the Celtics at the top of his list from the start, mainly because of his fondness for Jefferson and Minnesota's natural desire to move Garnett out of its conference. But some teams also believe that McHale's comfort level negotiating with Ainge was another key factor. The former Celtics colleagues remain close and frequently watched games together during the recent NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

The Wolves made the determination near the end of the playoffs that they would seriously entertain the prospect of trading Garnett for the first time, according to team sources, with Garnett being informed of that change in philosophy directly by owner Glen Taylor.

Taylor announced in mid-July that the organization was no longer looking to move the NBA's 2004 MVP, telling the St. Paul Pioneer-Press that Garnett's "preference was that we not trade him." Yet just days earlier, one rival executive insisted to that he knew "for a fact" that Minnesota remained intent on trading Garnett before the 2007-08 season starts.

Garnett rejected the initial move to Boston even though it would have put him in the easier-to-conquer East and even though he is friendly with Pierce. But he was undeniably stung by the near-trade, sources said, which only increased his growing frustration with McHale and Taylor and left him bracing for a trade ever since.

"This would be a major trade that would affect a franchise and those in the organization, so you better be sure [he wants to be there long term]," Miller said last month after squashing the original trade."

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