T-Wolves Have Nothing to Show for Dealing Garnett

Don’t confuse this claim with one that would attempt to convince you that the Minnesota Timberwolves would be better off if they still had Kevin Garnett. What I would like to call to your attention is that after trading Al Jefferson to the Utah Jazz for two future first-round picks, the T-Wolves have now rid themselves of every piece they received from the Celtics in return for Kevin Garnett in 2007, excluding draft selections. After getting what looked like a ton in exchange for The Big Ticket at the time, this can’t be what Kevin McHale and the Minnesota front office envisioned.

When you deal the greatest player in your franchise’s history — one who, at the time, was still at the peak of his game — you intend to get something out of the players you dealt him for. If the T-Wolves had known that Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, and journeyman Theo Ratliff would all turn out to be duds and trade bait, they would have looked elsewhere to make a deal. Had they envisioned Al Jefferson becoming expendable at the age of 25, they wouldn’t have wasted their time even speaking to the Celtics’ brass. Obviously, Minnesota received something in the form of draft picks and other players when they dealt all of the former Celtics, but at this point it doesn’t appear they’ve gotten their hands on anything promising.

As far as the Jefferson trade itself, I don’t really get it. Minnesota has seemingly improved a bit this off-season by re-signing Darko Milicic and trading for Michael Beasley, but didn’t they give up on Jefferson prematurely?

When Big Al signed his 5-year, $65 million contract it appeared as though he would become the core of the Minnesota franchise for years to come. He justified the contract by averaging 21 points and 11.1 rebounds in his inaugural season with the T-Wolves and 23.1 points to accompany 11 rebounds over the first 50 games of his second season, before blowing out his right knee.

Jefferson fought back from the knee injury to appear in 76 games last season and post impressive averages of 17.1 points and 9.3 rebounds. Take into account that he’s only 25 years old and that it takes most athletes a full season to shake off the rust from major reconstructive knee surgery, and you have every reason to believe Big Al will at some point resurface as a top-flight, All-Star big man. If he does, he’ll be doing it in a Utah Jazz uniform.

We have no way of predicting what will become of the draft picks Minnesota has received in return for trading every former Celtic on their roster. That being said, one world title and two finals appearances in three years later, I think it’s safe to say the Boston Celtics got the better end of the deal in 2007.

Report: T-Wolves trade Jefferson to Jazz [AP/Fox Sports]

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  • Korey

    I began reading this article because I am interested in why the T-Wolves continue to make all the WRONG moves. I was awestruck when I got to the following sentence: “As far as the Jefferson trade itself, I don’t really get it. Minnesota has seemingly improved a bit this off-season by re-signing Darko Milicic” Are you crazy, Milicic is terrible, we’re talking about a guy who’s career PPG average is 5.6. Really? Is the author from Serbia? I mean we are talking about a guy who openly expressed that he wouldn’t mind going back to Europe to play and the T-Wolves answer back by giving him 20 Million? What is wrong with the front office out there in Minnesota, I think they need to check the water, their draft picks are horrific as well. Wake up Minnesota!!!

  • Tony

    Korey is another one of those folks who feels good players score 30 points a night and take too many shots. The author is forgetting that Al wanted to be traded and the Wolves were going another direction and this was mutual departure. As far as the KG trade, NO ONE, here in Minnesota liked it, but McHale and Co. were fearful of losing KG for nothing via free agency. That being said, Kahn is doing the best he can to set this team up wtih young guys who will compete for jobs. Those left standing will witness further turnover as those not standing get traded off or let go. Those thinking trading is best, ask all those who were not KG how they’ve faired. For it’s been no better. So, for what the Wolves got for Al and what Al gets from Utah are pretty much equal. Utah and Al will be succesful in time, as will the Wolves. Keeping Al around or any veterans from that abysmal KG trade (again, wasn’t it really McHale taking the bullet to save his buddy Ainge?) and play sub-par playoff missing basketball was going to get this team no where fast, and oops it did just that! So ditch them all, get young players, no need to have but a vet or two around to show an example, and let them learn and earn. Then two to three years from now they just may be in the hunt regularly and then have the potential to add that one piece again. Heck, it may already be on the roster, only time can tell. Milicic was a good deal, look at your NBA contracts more closely and you’ll notice it is fair market value.