Dec 18, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett (21) celebrates a basket in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Target Center. The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Sacramento Kings 99-95. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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As we bid farewell to Kevin Garnett, we look at the five NBA teams that nearly landed The Big Ticket back in 2007
All-Time Great Kevin Garnett recently announced his retirement after 21 seasons in the NBA. KG finished his career as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the same team that he spent the first 12 years of his career with.
Of course, we all know how Garnett’s first stint with Minnesota ended. After falling short year after year, KG grew tired of management not being able to surround the 2004MVP with enough talent to compete for an NBA championship. So he requested a trade.
In the summer of 2007, Garnett was traded to Boston and the rest is history. With the Celtics, Garnett won the championship he had coveted for so long and also won a Defensive Player of the Year award.
It’s strange to think, then, that there were five other destinations that Garnett was nearly sent to instead of Boston.
So, as the curtains close on Garnett’s career and we bid farewell to a legend, let’s take a trip down memory lane and see what teams weren’t lucky enough to land The Big Ticket in 2007.
Apr 21, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) looks at the replay screen during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. The Thunder defeated the Mavericks 131-102. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks joined the bidding for Kevin Garnett a bit too late (all the other teams listed were pushing hard for Garnett before the 2007 NBA draft) and never really had a realistic chance of acquiring Garnett.
It’s strange to think that there was a slight possibility that two of the greatest power forwards of all-time, depending who you ask and what you categorize Tim Duncan as, could have been on the same team in their primes.
November 13, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett (2) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Coming off a huge upset over the No. 1 seeded Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 playoffs, Garnett just might’ve been the superstar that could’ve taken them to the next level.
This would mean, however, that drafting Stephen Curry in 2009 or Klay Thompson in 2011 very likely wouldn’t have been possible and even if they were still able to draft Draymond Green, he wouldn’t have ever had the chance to excel in Golden State behind Garnett.
With the ways things turned out, I don’t think the Warriors can be too upset that they missed out on Garnett.
Nov 30, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Garnett (2) is fouled by Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
In the 2006 NBA Draft, the Bulls offered a package of Luol Deng, Tyson Chandler and the No. 2 overall pick in the to the T-Wolves. At this time, the T-Wolves rejected because they reportedly “would never deal Garnett.”
Unfortunately for the Bulls, Minnesota ultimately chose Boston’s package, but at least that meant Chicago got to keep Noah and draft hometown hero and future MVP Derrick Rose with the first overall pick in the 2008 Draft.
Dec 9, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) hugs Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett (21) before the game at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Can you imagine what a tandem of Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett could do together?
The truth is, no one can because the possibilities were endless. Instead, the two won championships facing off against each other in 2008 and 2010, with Garnett coming out on top in their first Finals matchup and Bryant extracting revenge in 2010.
Jan 17, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett (21) blocks Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler (4) in the second quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Finally, we come to Kevin Garnett’s preferred destination at the time – the Phoenix Suns.
They were the closest of any team (aside from the Celtics) to acquiring Garnett back in 2007 and if not for Shawn Marion’s contract demands, it could’ve been Garnett, not Amar’e Stoudemire, as the premier big man in those 7 Second Or Less teams captained by two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash.
Among the multiple potential trades that would’ve sent Garnett to the desert, one really intriguing trade would’ve sent Garnett to the Suns, Stoudemire to the Hawks, Marion to the Celtics and Boston’s 2007 first-rounder (became Jeff Green) to the Timberwolves.
Now that would’ve had some large ramifications on the league.
Just like Kobe and KG, we’ll never know what a duo like Nash and Garnett would’ve been capable of. We can only imagine how many championships the Suns could’ve competed for and how many times they could’ve electrified the crowd.