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Long-Term Strategy: What the Garnett Trade Looks Like Today in Minnesota

In honor of the Timberwolves coming to town, let us commence an always-enjoyable discussion of the Garnett trade. Here are all the pieces and what Minnesota has received for each at this point.

Al Jefferson: Kosta Koufos, a lottery-protected Utah pick, and a lottery-protected Memphis pick they will probably never see.

Ryan Gomes: Traded to Portland, along with the draft rights to Luke Babbitt, for Martell Webster. The Blazers asked Gomes not to fly to Portland and cut him almost immediately.

Sebastian Telfair: Traded, along with Craig Smith and Mark Madsen, for Quentin Richardson. Then Richardson was traded a month later straight up for Mark Blount. So Telfair got the Timberwolves some of Mark Blount.

(This move was all designed to shed Telfair’s salary.)

(Almost exactly a year later, the Timberwolves gave up Ramon Sessions and Ryan Hollins to get Telfair back on the same contract they’d tried to shed a year ago.)

(Sessions would be third on the Timberwolves in PER today and Hollins would be sixth. Craig Smith would be fourth. Telfair is eighth.)

Gerald Green: Somebody named Paulao Prestes, some cash, and the birthday cake dunk.

Theo Ratliff: Nothing.

Two 2009 picks: These became Jonny Flynn and Wayne Ellington.

So, if we organize these guys by impact, Minnesota traded Kevin Garnett for…

Jonny Flynn, some of Martell Webster, Kosta Koufos, Wayne Ellington, Paulao Prestes, a protected Utah pick, some of Mark Blount, negative Craig Smith, some cash and salary flexibility rendered completely irrelevant by the Darko signing, and the birthday cake dunk.

There’s a hit “12 Days of Christmas” parody song lurking in there somewhere. “Some of Mark Blount” is the “five golden rings” part.

According to David Berri’s Win Score stat, these assets have earned the Timberwolves 4.79 wins this season. 2.82 of those are Martell Webster’s, who probably shouldn’t be included because Gomes didn’t exactly get them Martell Webster; the Blazers reluctantly agreed to take on Gomes in order to get Luke Babbitt. That wins figure also doesn’t account for subtracting Craig Smith, which would bring it to 3.04 using the Win Score Smith Smith has with the Clippers right now.

In any case, Garnett, three-plus years after the deal, has earned the Celtics a team-leading 7.60 wins this season.

If you’re going to build a case for this trade around the birthday cake dunk, I’ll hear you out.

  • Fnguyen

    I´d say if that Cake Dunk had brought the slam dunk title to Green that year, than yeah would have been all worth it for the Wolves^^ But seriously the trade in itself wasn´t that bad initially for the Wolves. Al Jefferson was nice and so was Gomes. But then Kahn came and blew it.

    • I_Love_Green

      Al Jeff and Love couldn't play together.

      Love>Big Al

      • Fnguyen

        Says who? Maybe they couldn´t play together in the triangle or maybe they couldn´t at all, still Big Al is a tremendous player and they should have gotten more from him. Be it in actual on court production coupled with Love or via trade.

  • Urinesane

    You have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to Rubio. You should probably stop reading New York media propaganda.

  • dslack

    Nice article, but it's worth noting that Flynn shouldn't really count as part of that trade. Minnesota took him with their own pick. They probably would have had that pick even without the Garnett trade because the pick the Celtics had acquired from them in the Szczerbiak trade was lottery-protected in 2009. Celtics would have had it only if it had been out of the lottery. Given that Minnesota had been terrible for several years even with Garnett, it seems a good bet that they would have been in the lottery in 2009 even if they hadn't traded KG.

    • hdavenport

      Yes. I should have at least speculated on that, although I don't think it's crazy to include him. I actually don't know if their picking him makes the deal better or worse for them.

  • Anon

    This post is fucking amazing.

  • Sean Desmond

    better trade with Golden State= swapped draft picks #1+2, Turned out Celts got Kevin Mchale AND Robert Parrish for Joe Barry Carroll