'Wolves still trying to move past Garnett

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'Wolves still trying to move past Garnett

Kevin Garnett came to the Boston Celtics in 2007 and took the city by storm.

Four years later, his impact is still felt in the place he called home for 12 seasons . . . nearly 1,500 miles away.

I still see KG jerseys on the street in Minnesota, said Minnesota Timberwolves rookie and 2011 second overall draft pick Derrick Williams. Hes left a big stamp right there in the whole state.

As Garnett looks to capture his second championship with the Celtics, the Timberwolves continue to look to rebuild. They won just 32 games in Garnett's final season with the team and have not won more than 24 in any single season since his departure.

No one is expecting them to replace Garnett, but with 23-year-old All-Star Kevin Love leading the squad, the Timberwolves have an incoming group of fresh talent Williams believes can help turn things around.

Theyre looking for the next team, the next couple guys that can help turn that whole team around, Williams, 20, recently told CSNNE.com. I think with the class that we have coming in with Ricky Rubio, myself, (rookie) Malcolm Lee from UCLA, and the guys that we currently have, we could have a pretty good chance to do good things this year.

But before the Timberwolves can build together on the court, they will have to wait during the NBA lockout---a challenge for this young team. While the veteran Celtics core of Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo have over 50 offseasons of preparation between them, rookies like Williams dont have proven strategies under their belts yet.

I think with the vets, its a little different because they know what it takes to be successful in the league, he said. Theyve put in those hours, theyve put in the years to be great players. We dont know yet. We dont know yet if were working hard enough to be successful in this league. Well just continue to keep working out and hopefully all this time and all these hours weve put in will translate to the court.

So what can Celtics fans expect when the Timberwolves come to town?

Were all going to come ready to play, Williams said. If they dont come ready to play, we can win those games. I think we have a good chance this season just because we are a young, athletic team that can get up and down the court that can really test those guys on the Celtics. So hopefully we can do that, run and gun, and we can get there and we can win a couple games.

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Zach Lowe’s most recent podcast is worth a listen, as it features plenty of talk about what the Celtics may or may not due ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. 

Lowe brought up the possibility of the Celtics top-1 or top-2-protecting Brooklyn’s first-round pick and including it in a deal for Butler. He surmises that the inclusion of the Brooklyn pick -- protected or not -- might not come until the final minutes. 

“Look, if Butler gets traded or if Paul George gets traded, that’s when it’s going to happen,” Marc Stein responded. “It’s going to happen in the last five to 10 minutes, so Boston has to make a decision, and let's see if they’re doing the math that they’ve had these assets for a while and it is time to do something bold and the time is now. Really, I think Boston will do it. The question is what will Chicago or Indiana do? And those are two hard reads.” 

Stein spoke to the Celtics’ lack of activity at certain points, but he said that if the C’s do fail to come away with a star player Thursday, it won’t be for lack of aggressiveness. 

MORE TRADE TALK

“I think the Celtics are taking criticism for waiting, and they’ve had all these assets they haven’t moved yet, but I think the record shows that Danny Ainge in general, in total, is very aggressive, not afraid to roll the dice, not afraid to make the aggressive move,” Stein said. “So I have less doubt about Boston saying, ‘Let’s just do it.’ I have far more questions about what Chicago and/or Indiana would do.” 

Lowe said that he imagines the Bulls would “think about” trading the C's Butler if Boston threw in the Nets’ pick unprotected, but added that Chicago would demand to also take two players out of Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. 

“I think that will be the offer and they’ll get there and Chicago will either have a moment where they say, ‘We walk away or we’ll do it.’ And Boston’s not going to throw in the other Nets pick,” Lowe said. “That’s just not going to happen.”

Rating the aforementioned foursome in terms of trade value, Lowe said that Crowder is the best piece because of his “ridiculously good” contract, followed by Brown, Smart and Bradley. 

Lowe added that he considers Bradley one of the “sneaky interesting pieces at this trade deadline” because his contract is up after next season, which is the same time that Isaiah Thomas’ contract expires. Lowe says that given the uncertainty of his future in Boston, he wouldn’t be overly surprised if Bradley is moved at the deadline. 

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game.