The Celtics, who have 16 championships but have gone without one for more than two decades, obtained the former MVP and 10-time All-Star on Tuesday in a 7-for-1 deal -- the NBA's biggest trade for one player.
Boston sent the Minnesota Timberwolves forwards Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes and Gerald Green, guard Sebastian Telfair and center Theo Ratliff, two first-round draft picks and cash considerations. Besides Ratliff, 34, the other four are 24 or younger.
With Paul Pierce and Ray Allen already on the roster, the Celtics have been transformed from a promising collection of youngsters who had the NBA's second-worst record last season into an instant contender in the mediocre Eastern Conference.
"This is probably my best opportunity at winning a ring," Garnett said. "It was a no-brainer."
The Celtics won their last championship, the third with the original Big Three of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, in 1986. Two members of that club orchestrated Tuesday's blockbuster trade -- Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge and Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale.
|'This is probably my best opportunity at winning a ring,' Garnett says of Boston. (AP)|
"These guys will never be the Big Three until they win" a championship, he said.
Garnett signed a multiyear extension -- Ainge wouldn't say how long. He had one year plus an option year remaining on his contract.
The Timberwolves get the Celtics' first-round pick in 2009, unless it is among the top three, and a return of Minnesota's conditional first round draft pick obtained in January 2006 when they sent Ricky Davis to the Timberwolves for Wally Szczerbiak. Minnesota also receives cash considerations in the deal.
The previous biggest NBA trade for one player came in 1999 when Houston obtained Scottie Pippen from Portland for six players.
"I'm confident I made the right decision here, even though that it was a difficult one," said Wolves owner Glen Taylor, who made it clear that Garnett did not request a trade.
The Garnett trade eclipses the latest one involving an NBA star, Allen Iverson. Philadelphia traded the guard and Ivan McFarlin to Denver last Dec. 19 for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two first-round draft choices.