Two months after making the NBA's biggest offseason trade, Boston and Minnesota will meet in one of the featured games on the NBA Europe Live tour.
The Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors also are holding training camps and will play exhibition games overseas, giving European stars such as Pau Gasol and Andrea Bargnani the chance to play in front of their home fans.
Games are also scheduled in Turkey, Rome and Spain, with NBA teams matched against a European club in four of them. But the biggest hype will surround an all-NBA matchup.
"It's probably going to be a lot of emotions because of the guys that have been traded," Boston's Paul Pierce said. "So it's probably going to mean more to them than it does to me as they've been traded, but will be interesting as there are going to be a lot of new guys."
The Timberwolves traded Garnett, their longtime superstar, to the Celtics in a 7-for-1 trade -- the most players swapped for one player in NBA history. And Minnesota coach Randy Wittman thinks it's more important to figure out which of them can play than trying to top Garnett in the Oct. 10 game.
"Everybody is going to build that up as a huge game because of the trade of Kevin Garnett to Boston, but I can't look at it that way," Wittman said. "I wouldn't give myself and my teammates a service if I am going to play five guys to win the game when I've got to figure out the makeup of my team. That's what exhibition games and practice are for."
Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff and Sebastian Telfair are the former Celtics on the Minnesota roster. The Wolves play the first game of the tour Saturday in Istanbul against Turkish team Efes Pilsen, whose coach, American David Blatt, led Russia to a surprising title at the European championships.
The Celtics, who also acquired All-Star Ray Allen on draft day, face Toronto in Rome on Saturday. The Raptors then play Lottomatica Roma the following day.
Those games are a homecoming for Bargnani, the No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft. Jorge Garbajosa and Jose Calderon get theirs at the end of the tour when the Raptors face Real Madrid in Spain's capital city.
Toronto coach Sam Mitchell, perhaps aware that the Suns and Clippers started slowly after their overseas trips last season, doesn't sound like an eager tourist.
"We as basketball coaches don't like change and we don't like situations that you can't control, and right now, going with your team to another country for training camp with an eight-hour flight, in unfamiliar circumstances, doing things totally different, you're going to have to adapt," he said. "Because regardless of how everyone thinks and what everyone feels and how happy they may be, my job is to try and get this team ready to play; it just makes it more difficult when you're not in your familiar surroundings.
"But that being said, its still an honor to be picked to go so we're going to go and do the best that we can and try and keep our players focused. But I think it's logical to say that every time you jump on a plane for an eight-, nine-hour flight and any other requirements that we're going to have as a team or players, it's going to be tiring."
Memphis, with Spanish stars Gasol and newcomer Juan Carlos Navarro, plays European clubs Unicaja in Malaga and MMT Estudiantes in Madrid.
"It's great to be given the chance to play in Europe, and specifically Spain and my home country, to share our NBA team life with another country," Gasol said. "I'm exited about it. I hope it doesn't get too crazy. I hope people have fun and enjoy the game. And at the same time we would like to get ready for the season."
The four teams opened their training camps Monday, a day before the rest of the NBA. Players will also take part in a number of community activities, including court refurbishments and the opening of a reading and learning center.