The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Tuesday the team has acquired forwards Al Jefferson, Gerald Green and Ryan Gomes, guard Sebastian Telfair and center Theo Ratliff, along with two first-round draft picks and cash considerations from the Boston Celtics in exchange for forward Kevin Garnett. The Timberwolves will receive Boston's 2009 first-round selection and Minnesota will get back the first-round draft pick the team traded to the Celtics in a January 2006 trade.
A press conference and media availability with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale and newly acquired players will be held Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. in the skyway level of Target Center. All interview requests will be deferred until Wednesday's press conference.
"This trade is about improving the Minnesota Timberwolves and improving our team for the future," said Timberwolves Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale. "The past few seasons our on-court performance has been disappointing to our fans, myself, Glen Taylor and the entire organization. Through this trade, we have obtained very talented, young players with a lot of potential, future flexibility with the salary cap and two future first-round NBA draft picks. This will not be an overnight fix, but it is the big step in renewing our commitment to build an exciting franchise for our fans."
"Personally, I want to thank Kevin for all of his hard work through the years and what he has meant to the Timberwolves franchise," McHale said. "He has been a tremendous player who has always given everything he has on the court. I wish him only the best for his future and the rest of his career."
"I want express my appreciation to Kevin for everything that he has done for the Timberwolves organization - both on and off the court," added Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. "His work ethic is unmatched and he has developed into one of the all-time greats. I want to wish him and his family the best in the future."
"I know we are giving up a great player, however, we are gaining very talented young players and draft picks in return," Taylor said. "I am really excited about the future of the Minnesota Timberwolves. We have put together the building blocks for the future by adding quality young talent as well as future first-round picks in this trade to go along with our solid, young nucleus of Randy Foye, Craig Smith, Rashad McCants, Corey Brewer, and Chris Richard. We are young, but we are also extremely talented. Our fans will really enjoy watching this core group play and grow together for years to come."
Jefferson, the 15th overall pick by the Celtics in the 2004 NBA Draft, averaged a double-double with 16.0 ppg (.514 FG%) and 11.0 rpg in 33.6 mpg in 69 games (60 starts) last season. The 6-10 forward more than doubled both his scoring and rebounding output from the previous campaign (7.9 ppg and 5.1 rpg in 18.0 mpg). His 69 games played in 2006-07 fell one game short of the league minimum to qualify his 11.0 rpg amongst the league leaders, which would have ranked seventh in that category. Last season, Jefferson ranked 12th in the NBA in total rebounds (756) and defensive rebounds (519) as well as 11th in offensive rebounds (237) and ninth in defensive rebounds per game (7.5). Jefferson was recently selected by USA Basketball as one of the "young elites" in the NBA that will participate in scrimmages against Team USA this summer as they prepare for Olympic qualifying. The 22-year-old forward was drafted directly out of high school (Prentiss High School/Mississippi).
Green, 21 years of age, was selected 18th overall out of high school (Gulf Shores Academy/Texas) by Boston in the 2005 NBA Draft. After averaging 5.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 11.7 minutes per game in 32 contests as a rookie for the Celtics (2005-06), Green finished the 2006-07 campaign with averages of 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 22.0 minutes per game in 81 games (26 starts). The 6-8 forward/guard won the 2007 NBA Slam Dunk contest at the NBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas.
Gomes, a 6-7 forward from Providence College, finished his collegiate career as the Friars' all-time leading scorer with 2,138 points and fifth in rebounds with 1,028. In 2006-07, Gomes posted averages of 12.1 points (.467 FG%) and 5.6 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game in 73 games (60 starts). In two seasons with the Celtics, Gomes has appeared in 134 games (93 starts) and has averaged 10.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 27.2 mpg. Gomes, 25, was drafted in the second round (50th overall) in the 2005 NBA Draft.
A 12-year NBA veteran with 679 games played, Ratliff comes to the Timberwolves with career averages of 8.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 2.6 bpg. He put together his best season as a pro during the 2000-01 season when he averaged career highs of 12.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg and a league best 3.7 bpg despite missing 32 games with injuries. He appeared in only two games for the Celtics last season due to injury.
Telfair, the 13th pick by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2004 NBA Draft, played in 78 games (30 starts) with the Celtics in 2006-07, averaging 6.1 ppg, 2.8 apg and 20.2 mpg. Telfair (22), a 2004 McDonald's All-American, led Abraham Lincoln High School to three New York City PSAL titles and finished his prep career as the State of New York's all-time leading scorer, surpassing former NBA player Kenny Anderson.The 6-0 guard was drafted directly out of high school.
Garnett, a 10-time NBA All-Star, averaged 20.5 points (.491 FG%, .780 FT%), 11.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 38.3 minutes per game in 927 regular-season contests (890 started) in 12 seasons for the Timberwolves. In 2006-07, Garnett appeared in 76 games (all starts) and posted averages of 22.4 ppg (.476 FG%) and 12.8 rpg. It marked the fourth straight season Garnett topped the league in rebounding. Garnett enjoyed his best year in 2003-04 as he won the NBA MVP Award after posting career highs in scoring (24.2 ppg) and rebounding (13.9 rpg - a league best), and setting 11 franchise single-season records. Drafted fifth overall by the Timberwolves in the 1995 NBA Draft, Garnett became the first player in more than 20 years to be drafted directly out of high school.