There is a New Kid on the Block
Posted Dec 18 2007 5:41PM
By Lauren Brill
Dec. 13, 2007 -- The trades that gave life to Boston's Big Three were among the most notable transactions of the summer. As the new trio in Boston rips through the league with their sharp shooting and dominant inside game, few have taken notice of the players that were shipped off to Minnesota in exchange for one of those pieces.
Boston sent Al Jefferson along with Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair and two first round draft picks to Minnesota in return for the Big Ticket. Al Jefferson, the key Celtic in the trade, played in Boston for three seasons. Drafted straight out of high school, Jefferson was the 15th pick of the 2004 NBA Draft. As a rookie, Jefferson came off the bench for the Celtics and averaged 6.7 points. Big Al's sophomore year was plagued by an ankle injury that limited his time on the court. In his final season in green, Jefferson was promoted to the starting line up as Kendrick Perkins, Theo Ratliff and Michael Olowokandi all suffered from injuries which limited coach Doc Rivers' options at the five spot. Despite Boston's disappointing 24-58 record, Jefferson's talent became apparent as the big man averaged a double-double on the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
At the ripe age of 22, Jefferson currently sports a Timberwolves' jersey. Leading the Minnesota Timberwolves in points and rebounds, averaging a double-double with 19.8 points and 11.1 boards, the 6-10 center is by far having the best season of his career. On Sunday night against the offensive powerhouse, Phoenix Suns, Al Jefferson proved his dominant play does more than fill a stat sheet. Guiding the Wolves to a 100-93 victory over the Suns, the former Celtic registered a career-high 32 points to go along with 20 rebounds. Jefferson now accompanies Kevin Garnett as the two are the only players in the Timberwolves' franchise history to post at least 30 points and 20 rebounds in a single game. Making history and leading a team, the recent acquisition is positively impacting the Wolves while simultaneously elevating his own game. After opposing Minnesota's new big man, Phoenix's coach Mike D'Antoni told the AP," Al Jefferson was a beast down there."
Minnesota currently owns the worst record in the league as they are 3-17 on the season. But their current standing fails to reflect their potential as a team. As a roster filled with young players, many who were strangers just a few months ago, the squad is still developing chemistry. With Jefferson leading the team, Minnesota will continue to build around the Timberwolves newest resident star.