The Associated Press is reporting that Kevin Garnett has been traded to the Boston Celtics.
Among the players who could be headed to Minnesota are forward Al Jefferson, guard Sebastian Telfair, swingman Gerald Green and center Theo Ratliff, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been completed. The official also said the Timberwolves would get at least one draft choice.
The Celtics already own one of the Timberwolves' first-round picks, which they acquired last year when Wally Szczerbiak was sent to the Celtics.
The two teams were reportedly close to a trade before the NBA draft, but Garnett nixed the trade. That, however, was before the Celtics traded for All Star Ray Allen. Adding Garnett, would give the Celtics three All Stars in the starting lineup.
It's not clear, however, whether Garnett has agreed to play in Boston. "There are serious discussions in place," Andy Miller, Garnett's agent, told the Boston Globe on Monday morning. "Part of the discussion that is taking place is addressing those issues as well as others to see if the destination makes sense for all parties. Everything is part of the overall picture as to how to bring this to a conclusion or go in a different direction."
The Timberwolves are under pressure to trade Garnett for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that he can walk away from the team without compensation after next season.
According to the Boston Herald, the Celtics and Garnett have reached an agreement in principle on a contract extension.
The Celtics, winners of more NBA championships than any other team in history, have been a forlorn NBA franchise for more than 20 years. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, are newcomers to that neighborhood.
Saddled with long-term, expensive contracts to unproductive NBA veterans, the team has few options to improve other than to get much worse first.
Indeed, the trade sends several more questionable veterans to the Timberwolves. But their contracts are short-term, and would allow the team to drop the players within a year or two, giving the Timberwolves more ability to sign free agents. A few seasons at the bottom of the NBA pile would also allow the team to draft higher in the annual NBA rookie draft.
A trade is disappointing news for some downtown Minneapolis businesses. Lee Holcomb, manager of Gluek's Restaurant and Bar, which is located near Target Center, says his establishment is very busy on nights that the Timberwolves play at home. He's worried that will change with Garnett's departure.
"Right now Kevin Garnett's really the only real star we've got that's going to draw people to come out and see the rest of our players," he said. "Even though they're young, they haven't become stars yet. I guess you need at least one qualified star on your team."
But a manager at another nearby bar and restaurant said he wasn't that worried about losing Garnett's star power. He said ever since the team has been on a losing streak, his restaurant hasn't gotten much business from Timberwolves fans anyway.