Blockbuster Garnett Deal Puts Celtics in Championship Hunt

BOSTON - After much speculation and plenty of reported permutations, The Other Shoe has officially dropped.

And while former Celtics forward Kevin McHale is involved in the deal, he's not exactly walking through that door.

Kevin Garnett, however, is walking through that door.

McHale, the Timberwolves' VP of Basketball Operations, and Celtics Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge got together on their second blockbuster trade in less than two years as the Celtics acquired the 10-time NBA to join Paul Pierce and newly acquired guard Ray Allen to make a run at the NBA Title.

With 22 All-Star appearances between the three of them, Pierce, Allen and Garnett comprise an impressive troika that suddenly makes the Celtics legitimate championship contenders. All three players are expected in Boston tonight for a 6 p.m. press conference at the TD Banknorth Garden to announce the deal.

Celtics.com will carry streaming video from tonight's press conference and will have complete coverage following the event.

Garnett comes to Boston with an impressive resume that boasts some eye-popping stats and numerous accolades. Here's just a few of them: Garnett led the NBA last season in rebounding (12.8) and double-doubles (66), and he's the active NBA leader in consecutive double-figure scoring games at 398 and counting. Most impressively, he lead the NBA in efficiency rating with a 29.2 mark.

The much-discussed and often rumored trade started gathering steam late last week, and while the league office was closed over the weekend, talks resumed on Monday and the transaction was finalized Tuesday afternoon.

The five-for-one deal sends Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes and Sebastian Telfair, along with a 2009 first round pick (top three protected) and the pick originally obtained from the Timberwolves in the Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak trade to Minnesota in exchange for Garnett.

"While it's difficult to part ways with the young players we've worked hard to develop, Kevin has been the consummate professional player in the NBA and a player that I marveled at over the years," Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers said. "Kevin leaves everything he has out on the floor every game. He has drive, passion and a hunger to win that is unmatched across the league."

Given the lopsided number of players in the transaction, the Celtics will have to make additional moves to round out their roster. Rookies Gabe Pruitt and Glen Davis have yet to sign deals with the club, and the team will likely take a look at who's available in the free agent market as well.

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