The Minnesota Timberwolves are making a push to bring back Kevin Garnett, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Stein says the Wolves and Brooklyn Nets have discussed a deal that would send Garnett to Minnesota and Thaddeus Young to Brooklyn.
Garnett began his career with the Wolves and blossomed into one of the most dominant forces in the league in Minnesota. The 38-year-old played 12 seasons with the Wolves before being traded to the Boston Celtics, where he finally won a title in 2008.
Garnett is in the final year of a contract paying him $12 million this season. He's averaging 6.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in a limited role, and there have been some rumors of a buyout. Instead, it appears the Nets are trying to send him back to where Garnett spent the majority of his career. The veteran big man has a no-trade clause, so he can say no to any trade.
Young's name has come up in trade rumors for a while, and the 26-year-old has an early termination option after this season that he could very well exercise. The power forward is averaging 14.3 points and 5.1 boards on the year.
Why this trade makes sense
For the Wolves, the nostalgia factor would be high and Garnett would have the opportunity to retire where it all began. The veteran could act as a mentor for the team's plethora of youngsters, and it would help ease a transition into a possible front-office role if he wants it. It's also known that he would like to be a part of ownership someday.
With Garnett likely retiring after the year, this deal would save Minnesota the nearly $10 million Young is owed next season if he chose to decline his early termination option. That extra money could be valuable come free agency.
From the Nets' perspective, they get a quality young power forward who could help with a playoff push this season. Nets general manager Billy King drafted Young in Philadelphia, and if things work out, the power forward could stick around for the long haul.
Why this trade doesn't make sense
Brooklyn can't trade a first-round pick until 2020, so Minnesota wouldn't gain much in terms of legitimate assets in this deal. Or any legitimate assets at all, really. Would the Wolves really use one of their bigger trade chips in Young just to bring back Garnett? That doesn't seem like the best idea, although perhaps the trade market for Young has waned enough where Minnesota is comfortable doing it. Still, it's a risky proposition to waste an asset like that, even if there are a few benefits. It looks even worse when you consider the Wolves traded a 2015 first-round pick to acquire Young just last summer.
Likelihood of this trade happening
Garnett has to waive his no-trade clause, and he has expressed some disinterest in moving his family in-season. However, the opportunity to go back to Minnesota could be appealing, despite the Wolves being at the bottom of the Western Conference. Minnesota still could reconsider as well, although it seems like Flip Saunders is a fan of the idea. I'm going to give this a 6/10 chance of happening.