The return of Kevin Garnett to the Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t help out the team, at least not in a way that we can see on the court, logging in just 98 minutes since the trade.
Garnett, the greatest player in the history of the franchise, was traded by Minnesota in 2007 to the Boston Celtics. Since then Garnett has won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics and played for a season and a bit on the Brooklyn Nets, trying to recapture some old-age magic next to Paul Pierce on the most expensive NBA team ever assembled when you calculate luxury tax.
But that experiment failed, as expected, and the Nets entered the 2014-2015 season with a ‘trade everyone’ state of mind. That’s been difficult, and it turns out they’re actually going to make the playoffs, but at least they got rid of Garnett, getting Thad Young in return, who isn’t going to stay there next season, but can actually give the Nets something. Garnett? He looked like someone on the road to retirement two years ago, but managed to somehow pull his broken down body through a couple more seasons.
If you follow the history of our posts, you might be able to tell we’re not huge fans of the ‘old’ Kevin Garnett. It’s not his fault. He’s gotten older, his body has been through quite a lot of injuries, and he has been suffering from the comparison to Tim Duncan, a player who seems three or four years younger than Garnett despite being of the same age, at least when you compare their contributions and performances over the last few years.
But there’s no use ranting on how Garnett isn’t good anymore. This move, despite the wastefulness of it, was about bringing him back to a team that he started his career with and played on for over a decade. Even if he hasn’t brought anything with him except experience, sentimentality and some leadership, the Timberwolves didn’t pay too much for him, because Thad Young was never going to stick around. They still could have gotten more instead of a player who is basically obsolete, but there’s a reason why the Timberwolves have been out of the playoffs for longer than anyone else in the league.
Garnett, the 2004 MVP and the only player who has been able to take the Timberwolves to the playoffs (haven’t managed before and since), averaged 7.6 points in 19.6 minutes a night for the Timberwolves. Not bad numbers from a role player (at best), but overall, Garnett coming over hasn’t really done anything for a team in tank mode which is about developing their talented young core.