With the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, the biggest Nets rumor to come out of the mill isn’t for one of their “Big 3,” but for piece number four. Recent reports indicate that the Nets & Minnesota Timberwolves have discussed a trade to send Kevin Garnett back to Minnesota for Timberwolves forward Thaddeus Young. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Garnett, who has a no-trade clause, will not seek a buyout but will consider the trade:
Sources: Despite Doc Rivers' strong interest, Brooklyn's Kevin Garnett has ruled out contract buyout. He'll consider the one trade scenario.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 19, 2015
Young was Billy King’s last lottery selection during King’s tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers, and this isn’t the first time the Nets have been connected to Young in trade rumors. Garnett spent the first 12 years of his NBA career in Minnesota, most of them under current Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders, and won an MVP in 2004.
Conceptually, a trade makes sense. The 26-year-old Young is talented enough to help a competitive team but not a game-changer on a team like Minnesota’s; Garnett wouldn’t turn anyone into a contender overnight but would function largely as a developmental influence on Minnesota’s plethora of young prospects. Just ask Mason Plumlee about how Garnett can make a difference on a developing career.
The trade would also shave about $2.5 million in salary off the Nets’ books, which would actually save the team’s basketball ops around $8 million in salary and luxury tax commitments. (Young has an early termination option in his contract for next season.) It’s not a huge dent, but it’s something, and it’s the rare deal the Nets have sought out that makes them younger, cheaper, and better all at once.
If both teams agree to the trade before the 3 P.M. deadline, it’s all on Garnett, who waived his no-trade clause two years ago in the blockbuster deal that sent Garnett & Pierce to the Nets in the summer of 2012.