To quote Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson…

“Finally…FINALLY! Kevin Garnett has come BACK to Minnesota!”

So I guess you can go home again…just like the saying goes.

Back in 1995, Kevin Garnett was drafted as a lottery pick out of high school by the Minnesota Timberwolves. For his first 12 years in the NBA, he gave the city of Minnesota all of his heart and soul before being traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007. Now the Timberwolves are counting on his leadership skills to place the franchise in the right direction to end a playoff drought that will reach 11 years at the end of the season.

It looks like he will finish his career, right where he started.

The Brooklyn Nets got the go ahead from Kevin Garnett, who had a no-trade clause in his contract, to move the long-time forward to Minnesota for Thaddeus Young.

It is no surprise that Kevin Garnett is the undisputed icon and face of the Minnesota franchise. In fact, he is the franchise leader in almost every statistical category. Check out the stats from ESPN Stats & Information…

  • Points – 19,041
  • Rebounds – 10,542
  • Assists – 4,146
  • Steals – 1,282
  • Blocks – 1,576

Understand that these numbers more than double the next Minnesota player in franchise history. Kevin Garnett led the Timberwolves to the only eight playoff appearances in their history. He won MVP in 2004, teaming up with Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell to get to the Western Conference Finals.

This just in, Kevin Garnett has done wonders for this Minnesota Timberwolves franchise.

Obviously, the Timberwolves are not counting on Garnett to put up these type of numbers or garner the obscene amount of minutes he played in his first tenure. The Timberwolves are leaning on Garnett to be a mentor to complement the youth movement that includes the development of Ricky Rubio, No.1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng.

At first glance, one would think that Garnett was coming back to end his career at the end of the season in Minnesota. Couple that with the rumors that Garnett wants to become an NBA owner (with career earnings of about $315 million dollars, the possibility is there) this makes all the sense in the world. Earlier this season, Garnett expressed interest in eventually buying the Timberwolves once his playing days were over.

But is it over? There have been reports that Minnesota hope to sign Kevin Garnett to a two-year deal this summer when his current deal expires.

With the Brooklyn Nets having an outside chance of making the playoffs, why would Garnett waive his no trade clause? Let’s check out Flip Saunders’ take on the situation…

“Kevin does not like change,” said Wolves president and coach Flip Saunders, who was Garnett’s coach for the first 10 years of his career. “That’s how he has always been. But I think when he looks back, he doesn’t think moving from Brooklyn to here as a big change. I think he looks at it from moving back and being home.”

Being home means Garnett will be reunited with Saunders and Sam Mitchell, now an assistant coach and one of Garnett’s former teammates in Minnesota.

What is the feelings coming out of the locker room?

Andrew Wiggins…

“When you think of the Timberwolves, you think of Kevin Garnett,” Wiggins said. “That’s the first thing that comes up.”

How about Ricky Rubio…

“I’m going to be here with my notebook and see whatever he does,” Rubio said. “I remember watching him with the Timberwolves and the Boston Celtics winning a championship; playing against him was something special. You could see that players were afraid of him. That means he was tough, but he was a winner. No matter what a team needs to do, he did it.”

I can see what Minnesota is doing by bringing back Garnett. They desperately need a voice in the locker room. But I do not particularly agree with the contract extension. Why waste a roster spot when you can put Garnett on the bench as an assistant coach?

Let’s take this further and groom him as an executive. Flip Saunders has brought the front office from the dark ages of the David Kahn days without ridiculous personnel moves. He basically saved the franchise another decade of futility with the Kevin Love trade by bringing in Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett. He then swindled the Sixers by getting Thaddeus Young that was used in this deal. With Garnett’s plans to become an owner, it seems ideal to start working on that phase of his career.

Kevin Garnett knows the game of basketball inside and out. Now is the time that Garnett and the franchise partner up and bring basketball back to happier times. The first step is to realize that the franchise does not have to tie up valuable cap space and roster spot to show loyalty to Garnett, as he will have a place in the organization until the day he decides to leave.

Kevin Garnett needs to realize that his worth is greater either on the sideline, the front office or both.

 

 

 

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