Two players were traded at last weeks NBA trade deadline. One was a bit of a surprise while another was expecting a buyout or trade to a contender. I’m talking about forward/center Kevin Garnett and forward Tayshaun Prince. The Brooklyn Nets dealt Garnett and his expiring contract to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where his career began, for 26 year old forward Thaddeus Young. Tayshaun Prince, who was already traded once this year from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Boston Celtics was dealt to the Detroit Pistons, where he won a championship in 2004, for forward Jonas Jerebko and guard/forward Luigi Datome.
Kevin Garnett returns to Minnesota where he was the 5th overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. He spent 12 seasons in Minnesota until he was ultimately dealt to the Boston Celtics. He was the 2004 NBA’s Most Valuable Player and a perennial All-Star for much of his time there. As Garnett approaches the age of 39 in May, many expect him to ride off into the sunset for the rest of this season on an expiring contract with the franchise that gave him his start but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Rumors say Garnett is expecting to sign a two year extension with the Timberwolves. He’s obviously not the franchise player that he once was, but how much left does Garnett have left? Garnett has plans in the future to buy the Timberwolves, possibly along with current head coach and President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders. Perhaps is Garnett sticking around due to his love of basketball and the paychecks needed to make such a purchase?
Tayshaun Prince was hoping to work out a buyout with the Boston Celtics and join a contender like the Los Angeles Clippers or Portland Trail Blazers. Instead he was dealt to the Pistons, where he was drafted in 2002 23rd overall. Prince spent just under 11 seasons with the Pistons but they’re currently in 9th place in the weak Eastern Conference playoff picture. With Chris Bosh now out of the season in Miami, there may be room for Detroit to make the playoffs but the bottom of the East playoff picture don’t really stand a legitimate title chance. Prince had really hope to land with a top 4 team in the Western Conference. The Detroit Pistons have made it clear they do not plan to buyout the final year of Prince’s contract.