AP Sources: Garnett returning to Minnesota in deadline deal
MINNEAPOLIS - MAY 14: Kevin Garnett #21 of the Minnesota Timberwolves holds up three fingers after winning the game against the Sacramento Kings in Game five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2004 NBA Playoffs at Target Center on May 14, 2004 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Garnett is coming back to the place it all began.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are sending forward Thaddeus Young to the Brooklyn Nets for Garnett, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been officially announced.
Garnett spent his first 12 seasons in Minnesota. He guided the Timberwolves to the only eight playoff appearances in franchise history and won the MVP while leading them to the Western Conference finals in 2004.
After winning a title in Boston, Garnett is nearing the end of a brilliant career and now could finish it in front of a crowd that continues to adore him.
But he’s not done yet. The Wolves envision him playing past this season and will work to get him signed to a two-year extension in the offseason, a person with knowledge the team’s thinking said. The person requested anonymity because no extension has been signed.
In Minnesota, he will be relied upon to set an example and be a mentor for a young and improving team that includes point guard Ricky Rubio and No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins.
"Whatever he says, we’re going to listen and do it," Rubio said. "He’s going to have the voice in the locker room and we’re going to learn a lot from him. I think it’s great."
Garnett had to waive a no-trade clause to allow the deal to go through.
The Wolves traded Garnett to Boston in 2007 and the Celtics won a championship in his first season there. Garnett remained with Boston until he was dealt along with Celtics mainstay Paul Pierce to Brooklyn on the night of the 2013 draft.
Pierce spent just a year in Brooklyn and now Garnett is gone too, with the Nets getting a solid replacement in Young, who has played much better as the season went on.
Garnett is no longer a force on offense, and at 38 years old has often sat out the second night of back-to-back games. But he remains a solid rebound and defender, plus a highly regarded locker room leader who should make an impact on a young Timberwolves team.
"When you think of the Timberwolves, you think of Kevin Garnett," Wiggins said. "That’s the first thing that comes up."