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NBA Market Watch: KG to Boston

NBA Market Watch: KG to Boston
Jul 30, 2007, 01:52 am
Multiple sources close to the situation told DraftExpress Sunday that the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves have come to terms on a trade exchanging Kevin Garnett for a package including Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, and Theo Ratliff. The exact details of the trade aren’t known at this point, but it is believed that the deal will be completed shortly with similar parameters.

This deal has been rumored for most of the summer, but according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation, the main hold up had been the negotiation of a contract extension for Garnett. According to this source, Garnett’s camp is asking for a 5 year extension worth 125 million dollars. Whether or not the two parties have altered the initial proposal or agreed to it is not known, but apparently some accord has been reached. Garnett has an opt-clause in his contract for next season that he has essentially been using as leverage to get traded and secure his financial future with the team that acquires his services.

It had been widely assumed that the initial deal between the clubs had fallen through when Garnett’s agent publicized that his client was not interested in going to Boston. But circumstances seem to have progressed since that stage, to the point where one prominent player on the Celtics responded to inquiry by stating the team was “winning the Eastern Conference” next season, after having learned of Garnett’s imminent arrival.

This move signifies a major power shift in the Eastern Conference. Garnett joins veterans Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to form arguably the best trio in the NBA. The team now has three potential Hall of Fame players in their prime to contend in a conference that is wide open. Each player is over 30 years of age, but should remain effective for the life of their deals.

Executive Director of Basketball Operations chief Danny Ainge has mortgaged a sizable portion of the team’s long-term future to secure a title contending team however. Jefferson was recently selected by USA Basketball as one of the rising stars in the league and is only 22 years of age. The team will have to rely on their faith in the All Star veterans’ abilities to maintain a high level of performance deep into their 30’s. If KG, Pierce, and Allen can duplicate the career longevity of Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, and Reggie Miller for example, the Celtics will have a larger window to work with.

Ainge has been highly scrutinized for his apparent lack of organizational direction these past few years, but his patience looks to have paid off. His commitment to acquiring young assets and parlaying them into more established stars has come to fruition. The team is scheduled to hold training camp overseas this season, so the timing was flawless for a move that is sure to re-invigorate the sizable international fan base. The team is sure to enjoy a sizable increase in national media attention as well. The team didn’t have a single network game scheduled last season. That should change this year.

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