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Timberwolves trade Kevin Garnett to Celtics




| July 31, 2007

timberwolves trade kevin garnett to celticsThe Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired 10-time All-Star and 2004 MVP Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, a 2009 first round draft pick (top three protected) and a return of Minnesota’s conditional first round draft pick previously obtained in the Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak trade. Minnesota also receives cash considerations in the deal.

“Kevin Garnett is a great player in our league, with a fierce and competitive spirit, who brings offensive scoring prowess and a defensive presence to our team,” Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said. “The players we’re trading to Minnesota have bright futures in the NBA and we wish them well.”

The 12-year pro is one of just five players in NBA history to amass at least 19,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists joining Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley. The 6’11” 253lb forward led the NBA in rebounding for the fourth consecutive season this past year and is just the fourth player in NBA history to do so. He joins Chamberlain, Moses Malone and Dennis Rodman as the only players to accomplish that feat. Garnett has been named to the All-NBA First Team three times (2000, 2003, 2004), the All-NBA Second Team three times (2001, 2002, 2005) and the All-NBA Third Team twice (1999, 2007). Garnett has also been named to the All-NBA Defensive First and Second Teams eight times. His NBA efficiency score of 29.2 was the highest rated of all NBA players in the 2006-2007 season.

“While it’s difficult to part ways with the young players we’ve worked hard to develop, Kevin has been the consummate professional player in the NBA and a player who I have marveled at over the years,” Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers said. “Kevin leaves everything he has out on the floor every game. He has drive, passion and a hunger to win that is unmatched across the league.”

The product of Farragut Academy High School in Illinois became the first player in more than 20 years to be drafted directly out of high school in 1995 when he was taken fifth overall by Minnesota. He currently has the longest active streak for scoring in double-figures with 398 straight games that dates back to the beginning of the 2002-03 season. That streak of 398 games is good for eighth best in NBA history. Garnett currently ranks 41st in scoring in League history, as well as 27th in rebounds.

“I am excited to become a Celtic,” Garnett said. “It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to play with players the quality of Paul (Pierce) and Ray (Allen). The Celtics have had a proud tradition and now I hope that we can add to the legacy.”

"As owners we are delighted to have a core of three All Star talents to anchor our team,” co-owner Wyc Grousbeck remarked. "Speaking for my partners, while we will miss the valuable players we have traded, we have assembled a group of veteran players who demonstrate Celtic Pride on the court and in the community and who will work hard to deliver a championship contender to the fans of New England.”

The 2006 recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship award, Garnett has career averages of 20.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. He has recorded 19 triple-doubles in his career along with eight games of 30 point-20 rebound performances to go along with 30 games of 20 point-20 rebound performances. Garnett has been named NBA Player of the Month nine times and Player of the Week 15 times.

"This trade is about improving the Minnesota Timberwolves and improving our team for the future," said Timberwolves Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale. "The past few seasons our on-court performance has been disappointing to our fans, myself, Glen Taylor and the entire organization. Through this trade, we have obtained very talented, young players with a lot of potential, future flexibility with the salary cap and two future first-round NBA draft picks. This will not be an overnight fix, but it is the big step in renewing our commitment to build an exciting franchise for our fans."

"Personally, I want to thank Kevin for all of his hard work through the years and what he has meant to the Timberwolves franchise," McHale said. "He has been a tremendous player who has always given everything he has on the court. I wish him only the best for his future and the rest of his career."

"I want express my appreciation to Kevin for everything that he has done for the Timberwolves organization - both on and off the court," added Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. "His work ethic is unmatched and he has developed into one of the all-time greats. I want to wish him and his family the best in the future."

"I know we are giving up a great player, however, we are gaining very talented young players and draft picks in return," Taylor said. "I am really excited about the future of the Minnesota Timberwolves. We have put together the building blocks for the future by adding quality young talent as well as future first-round picks in this trade to go along with our solid, young nucleus of Randy Foye, Craig Smith, Rashad McCants, Corey Brewer, and Chris Richard. We are young, but we are also extremely talented. Our fans will really enjoy watching this core group play and grow together for years to come."

Jefferson, the 15th overall pick by the Celtics in the 2004 NBA Draft, averaged a double-double with 16.0 ppg (.514 FG%) and 11.0 rpg in 33.6 mpg in 69 games (60 starts) last season. The 6-10 forward more than doubled both his scoring and rebounding output from the previous campaign (7.9 ppg and 5.1 rpg in 18.0 mpg). His 69 games played in 2006-07 fell one game short of the league minimum to qualify his 11.0 rpg amongst the league leaders, which would have ranked seventh in that category. Last season, Jefferson ranked 12th in the NBA in total rebounds (756) and defensive rebounds (519) as well as 11th in offensive rebounds (237) and ninth in defensive rebounds per game (7.5). Jefferson was recently selected by USA Basketball as one of the "young elites" in the NBA that will participate in scrimmages against Team USA this summer as they prepare for Olympic qualifying. The 22-year-old forward was drafted directly out of high school (Prentiss High School/Mississippi).

Green, 21 years of age, was selected 18th overall out of high school (Gulf Shores Academy/Texas) by Boston in the 2005 NBA Draft. After averaging 5.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 11.7 minutes per game in 32 contests as a rookie for the Celtics (2005-06), Green finished the 2006-07 campaign with averages of 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 22.0 minutes per game in 81 games (26 starts). The 6-8 forward/guard won the 2007 NBA Slam Dunk contest at the NBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas.

Gomes, a 6-7 forward from Providence College, finished his collegiate career as the Friars' all-time leading scorer with 2,138 points and fifth in rebounds with 1,028. In 2006-07, Gomes posted averages of 12.1 points (.467 FG%) and 5.6 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game in 73 games (60 starts). In two seasons with the Celtics, Gomes has appeared in 134 games (93 starts) and has averaged 10.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 27.2 mpg. Gomes, 25, was drafted in the second round (50th overall) in the 2005 NBA Draft.

A 12-year NBA veteran with 679 games played, Ratliff comes to the Timberwolves with career averages of 8.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 2.6 bpg. He put together his best season as a pro during the 2000-01 season when he averaged career highs of 12.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg and a league best 3.7 bpg despite missing 32 games with injuries. He appeared in only two games for the Celtics last season due to injury.

Telfair, the 13th pick by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2004 NBA Draft, played in 78 games (30 starts) with the Celtics in 2006-07, averaging 6.1 ppg, 2.8 apg and 20.2 mpg. Telfair (22), a 2004 McDonald's All-American, led Abraham Lincoln High School to three New York City PSAL titles and finished his prep career as the State of New York's all-time leading scorer, surpassing former NBA player Kenny Anderson.The 6-0 guard was drafted directly out of high school.

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