NBA: Kevin Garnett headed back to Minnesota at trade deadline
LOS ANGELES–Veteran Kevin Garnett is headed back to his first NBA home after waiving his no-trade clause with Brooklyn for a move to Minnesota at the league’s trade deadline on Thursday.
The move, confirmed by Garnett’s agent via Twitter, was among a spate of last-minute deals, with Garnett headed to the Timberwolves in exchange for forward Thaddeus Young.
Garnett was taken by the Timberwolves with the fifth overall pick of the 1995 draft, coming right out of high school, and spent his first 12 NBA seasons in Minnesota.
Garnett, who will be 39 in May, was the face of the Timberwolves franchise, earning an All-Star berth 10 times and capturing NBA Most Valuable Player honors in the 2003-04 season.
However, the team made just one deep playoff run, reaching the conference finals during his MVP season, and the Wolves dealt Garnett to Boston before the 2007-08 campaign.
He helped the Celtics to the NBA championship in his first season and Boston also reached the NBA Finals in 2010, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now in his second season with Brooklyn, Garnett was averaging 6.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in 42 games.
Garnett could provide valuable leadership for a young Timberwolves team now languishing in last place in the Western Conference with a record of 11-42.
“He put the Minnesota Timberwolves all around the world,” said Minnesota’s Spanish guard Ricky Rubio. “Even when I was in Europe and in Spain, I knew (about Minnesota) because KG was here.
“That means a lot. It’s an honor to play with him and have him in the locker room. I’m going to have my ears open to whatever he says.”
Young was in his first year with Minnesota after playing his first seven seasons with Philadelphia. He was sent to the Timberwolves last summer as part of the three-team deal that involved Kevin Love going from Minnesota to Cleveland.
Among other deals at Thursday’s trade deadline, the Portland Trail Blazers acquired swingman Arron Afflalo in a five-player swap with Denver.
Portland also obtained forward Alonzo Gee while sending Denver a 2016 first-round draft choice and three players — forwards Thomas Robinson and Victor Claver and guard Will Barton.
Afflalo is a career 38.4 percent shooter from three-point range who will help spell Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum, both of whom are averaging 34 minutes per game for the Northwest Division-leading Trail Blazers.
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