A lot had to fall into place for the Boston Celtics to win the 2008 NBA title.
But Kevin Garnett arguably was the most important piece of the puzzle, and it turns out the Celtics indeed were lucky to land the All-Star big man.
We know the facts: Boston swung a blockbuster deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves for Garnett in the summer of 2007, completing the formation of a “Big Three” that would roll to a 66-16 record and an NBA championship.
But apparently Garnett was very close to heading West instead — to join the Golden State Warriors.
Then-Warriors executive vice president of basketball operations Chris Mullin told Bleacher Report that Golden State was on the verge of completing a three-team trade for Garnett that would have sent Jason Richardson to the Charlotte Bobcats and “picks and talent” to the T-Wolves. That deal would have given the Warriors — fresh off an exciting playoff run in 2006-07 — their own “Big Three” of Garnett, Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson.
“It was basically done,” Mullin told B/R. “I was doing an extension with (agent) Andy Miller on Kevin Garnett’s deal. KG liked Baron enough, and we had talked enough. He said, ‘Yo, I’ll do it.'”
According to Mullin, the deal only fell through because then-Warriors owner Chris Cohan “dragged his feet” and vetoed the move.
The Warriors did make a move that offseason, dealing Richardson to Charlotte for No. 8 overall pick (and future Celtic) Brandan Wright. But Wright isn’t exactly KG, and Golden State failed to return to the playoffs until Stephen Curry led them there in 2013.
Garnett, meanwhile, helped the Celtics make two NBA Finals trips and six playoff appearances in six years. Not too shabby.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images
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