Minnesota Timberwolves bring home Kevin Garnett in trade with Nets for Thaddeus Young

February 19, 2015

The Minnesota Timberwolves brought back a familiar face to help guide their struggling franchise, as the team announced that it has acquired forward Kevin Garnett from Brooklyn in exchange for forward Thaddeus Young.

Garnett is older and certainly a far less effective player than in his first stint with the team when he was a perennial All-Star and the face of the franchise, but his passion, leadership, and intangibles should benefit the 'Wolves young nucleus immensely in the locker room.

The Wolves have gathered some talented young players in Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng, and Slam Dunk champ Zach LaVine, but young teams never win in the NBA.  What Minnesota needs is a veteran presence to teach their youngsters how to prepare as professionals and win games, and Garnett is precisely the guy to fill that role.

"We are excited to have Kevin Garnett back in Minnesota and playing for the Timberwolves," said Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders. "When people think of the Timberwolves they think of KG. He had some great years for us and our organization and fans really respect what he's done here in Minnesota and throughout his NBA career. KG will bring his usual strong work ethic and leadership and be a positive influence for our young team."

Originally drafted by Minnesota with the 5th overall pick of the 1995 NBA Draft, Garnett spent the first 12 seasons of his career with the Timberwolves and led the team to eight consecutive playoff appearances from 1996-97 to 2003-04, including a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2003-04.

He was named the NBA MVP in 2003-04 after leading the Timberwolves to a Western Conference-best 58-24 record and No. 1 seed while averaging career-highs in points (24.2 ppg), rebounds (13.9 rpg) and blocks (2.2 bpg). Garnett still ranks as the franchise leader in nearly every major category, including games played (927), minutes (35,535), points (19,041), rebounds (10,542), assists (4,146), blocks (1,576), steals (1,282) and field goals (7,575).

"It means a lot to me to have Kevin Garnett back on our team," said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. "I have great respect for Kevin as a person and a player. He was the first player we drafted after I bought the team and we got to see him develop into one of the best players in the world. Like our fans, I'm excited to be able to watch Kevin in a Timberwolves uniform once again."

Garnett was traded to Boston on July 31, 2007, where he went on to win his first and only NBA championship in 2007-08. Garnett averaged 20.4 points and 10.5 rebounds in the postseason during Boston's championship run, anchoring the Celtics defense. He spent six seasons with Boston before being acquired by the Nets on July 12, 2013.

A 15-time All-Star and the 2007-08 Defensive Player of the Year, Garnett ranks first amongst active NBA players in both minutes (49,764) and rebounds (14,486) while ranking third in points (25,911). He needs just 236 more minutes to become just the fifth player in NBA history to accumulate over 50,000 career minutes. Garnett has averaged 18.3 points and 10.2 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game over 1419 career contests, including averages of 18.2 points and 10.7 rebounds in 36.9 minutes per game over 143 career playoff appearances.

As for the Nets, Young, 26, is a good player who has proven he can score in this league.  He averaged 14.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 48 games with Minnesota this season, and was the Wolves' leading scorer eight times, including scoring a season-high 29 points at Washington on Dec. 16.

Originally acquired by the Wolves in a three-team trade on Aug. 23, Young holds career averages of 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 564 career games between Minnesota and Philadelphia.

With Young, the Nets will get an infusion of versatility and youth into their lineup.  If they want to go small, they can put out a lineup with him at the 4 and Joe Johnson at the 3.  Or Young could play primarily at the 3, with Johnson seeing more action in the backcourt.

In other news, the Minnesota Timberwolves also signed guard Lorenzo Brown for the remainder of the season.

Brown, 24, has appeared in five games (one start) with Minnesota, averaging 3.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 19.6 minutes per game. He played a career-high 47:55 against Cleveland on Jan. 31, dishing out a career-high nine assists.

Originally drafted by Minnesota with the 52nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brown appeared in three preseason games before being waived on October 25, 2013. He signed with Philadelphia a month later, averaging 2.5 points and 1.6 assists in 8.6 minutes over 26 games.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com

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