ESPN: The Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics, who nearly completed a blockbuster Kevin Garnett trade before the June draft, have resurrected those trade talks and are again in serious discussions, according to NBA front-office sources.
Sources told ESPN.com on Sunday night that former teammates Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge have revived a deal that would end Garnett’s 12-season association with Minnesota by sending him to Ainge’s Celtics, with the Wolves getting back two of the assets McHale coveted most last month: Al Jefferson and Theo Ratliff’s expiring contract.
The deal, however, depends on Garnett softening his stance on playing in Boston, with sources indicating late Sunday that Garnett could be warming to the idea.
Garnett effectively blocked the Celtics’ first attempt at trading for him by making it clear, through agent Andy Miller, that he would opt out of the final year of his contract — which is worth $23 million — and leave the Celtics in the summer of 2008 because he doesn’t want to play there. Unless it wants to part with the blossoming Jefferson for a one-year KG rental, Boston has to have a strong indication that it can keep Garnett long-term before making the trade.
But Garnett might now be amenable to the move, after the fiercely loyal 31-year-old learned how far along the Wolves were in negotiations with Boston in June … and with the Celtics responding to the breakdown of its initial KG pursuit by trading the fifth overall pick in the draft to Seattle for All-Star shooting guard Ray Allen.