Kevin Garnett will return to Minnesota as part of trade


Kevin Garnett has come full circle.

KG spent the first 12 years of his career in Minnesota where he was the “Big Ticket.” He was a 10-time All-Star in that window and one of the top players in the NBA. He was eventually traded to Boston (where he won a ring) and then to Brooklyn.

Now Garnett is waiving his no-trade clause so he can likely end his career where it started — multiple reports have him agreeing to return to Minnesota in exchange for Thaddeus Young. David Aldridge of TNT was first.

This has since been confirmed by Andy Miller, Garnett’s agent.

Garnett is the final year of his contract and likely retires after this season.

Minnesota is a young team loaded with potential, guys like Andrew Wiggins and the recently returned from injury Ricky Rubio, Gorgui Dieng, Slam Dunk Contest champion Zach LaVine and others. Having Garnett around to lead them — even for half a season — can only help their development.

Thaddeus Young and his 14.3 points a game gets thrown into the heart of the race for the final playoff spots in the East. Young can play on the wing with Joe Johnson and is an upgrade for the Nets. Their problem is other teams in that hunt — Miami and Detroit — also have upgraded. The race for the eight seed in the East just got very interesting.

Report: Nets and Pistons discuss Joe Johnson-Brandon Jennings trade


The Nets want to trade Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and/or Deron Williams.

Lopez has been most-mentioned in trade reports, but Johnson has also drawn interest from the Hornets.

Another team in the Eastern Conference playoff race could also be exploring a Johnson trade.

Ohm Youngmisuk and Mike Mazzeo of ESPN

The Detroit Pistons have reached out to the Brooklyn Nets to inquire about the availability of former All-Star swingman Joe Johnson, according to league sources.

Sources told that no deal is imminent but said the teams have had exploratory discussions in advance of Thursday’s trade deadline about a trade package built around injured point guard Brandon Jennings and expiring contracts in exchange for Johnson.

Such a deal would look something like this:

  • Brandon Jennings
  • Jonas Jerebko
  • Caron Butler
  • Joel Anthony or Luigi Datome


  • Joe Johnson

The Nets would also need to include or waive two players – most likely from the group of Jerome Jordan, Darius Morris, Markel Brown and Cory Jefferson, each of whom has an expiring minimum contract.

But why would the Pistons do this?

Johnson’s $24,894,863 salary next season would wipe out their cap space. And for what? A declining 33-year-old – plus the loss of Jennings, who was playing exceptionally before his season-ending injury.

Stan Van Gundy said the Pistons won’t sacrifice future assets to chase a playoff spot, so it’s hard to see him making this deal. Maybe the Nets can leverage a better offer from Charlotte, which wouldn’t want to see Detroit improve, but that’s probably the upside for Brooklyn.

Report: Nets nearly traded Brook Lopez for Hornets’ Lance Stephenson and Cody Zeller


Last month, the Nets, Thunder and Hornets discussed a trade that would have sent Brook Lopez from Brooklyn.

Talks fizzled, but not before one version of the deal nearly came to fruition.

Nets Daily:

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

It’s not clear why the Stephenson/Cody Zeller-Lopez trade fell through. It seems to be a fairly reasonable deal.

Lopez is near All-Star-level when healthy, but he’s frequently hurt and highly paid. Stephenson’s salary also exceeds his production, but he and Zeller are younger.

Why do I bring this up now?

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Guard Lance Stephenson is still being shopped by the Hornets, a source said.

The Nets are still aggressively trying to move Brook Lopez before the trade deadline, a source told Yahoo Sports.

Lance Stephenson’s fit in Charlotte is still questionable, and Brooklyn could still be looking to shed salary in advance of a sale. These teams have also discussed a trade involving Joe Johnson.

There are clearly pieces on both sides that appeal to these teams. That doesn’t mean they’ll connect on a trade, but they could continue to circle toward something as the trade deadline nears.

Has 2015 set record for All-Star injury replacements?


Adam Silver wants to expand NBA All-Star rosters, and in practice, he has.

The NBA commissioner has named four injury replacements – DeMarcus Cousins for Kobe Bryant, Damian Lillard for Blake Griffin, Kyle Korver for Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki for Anthony Davis. So, instead of 24 All-Stars, we have 28.

Is that a record for injury replacements? Not quite.

But it sets a record for starters replaced with Kobe, Griffin and Davis having been voted Western Conference starters.

Both 2007 and 1997 featured five injury replacements, and 2010 and 2001 each had four. No other year had more than two.


  • Joe Johnson replaced Jason Kidd
  • Josh Howard replaced Carlos Boozer
  • Ray Allen replaced Allen Iverson
  • Carmelo Anthony replaced Yao Ming*
  • Mehmet Okur replaced Steve Nash


  • Chris Webber replaced Patrick Ewing*
  • Joe Dumars replaced Alonzo Mourning
  • Detlef Schrempf replaced Charles Barkley*
  • Chris Gatling replaced Clyde Drexler
  • Kevin Garnett replaced Shaquille O’Neal


  • David Lee replaced Allen Iverson*
  • Jason Kidd replaced Kobe Bryant*
  • Chauncey Billups replaced Chris Paul
  • Chris Kaman replaced Brandon Roy


  • Latrell Sprewell replaced Grant Hill*
  • Dikembe Mutombo replaced Alonzo Mourning*
  • Antonio Davis replaced Theo Ratliff
  • Vlade Divac replaced Shaquille O’Neal*

*Voted a starter

It’s still possible, though unlikely,, 2015 matches the record for total injury replacements.

Carmelo Anthony seems set on playing, though it’s not a total certainty he will. And if someone can beat Kevin Durant one-on-one, that’s another spot available.

Nets coach Lionel Hollins says he’s not expecting any roster changes before trade deadline


After a slower than expected start to the season, the Nets let it be known that any of their star players — Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez — were available in trade, if the assets that came back in return were somewhat reasonable.

Brooklyn got close a couple of times, but ultimately decided not to pull the trigger on any of the offers that were made. The primary issue, of course, is that all three of those players come with some very pricey contracts, which makes finding a palatable deal for both sides somewhat of a challenge.

Since the offers have now come and gone, there doesn’t seem to be a scenario where the Nets will undergo any sweeping change — and head coach Lionel Hollins recently confirmed as much.

From Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:

Lionel Hollins isn’t expecting anything to change over the All-Star break.

“Yes, I do,” Hollins said when asked if he thought he would have the same roster after next Thursday’s trade deadline. The Nets, who lost 95-86 to the Grizzlies Tuesday night to head into the break with a 21-31 record, are one game behind the Hornets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Does Hollins think that the Nets keeping the same roster will get them into the playoffs?

“I don’t know,” he said with a smile. “We’re going to find out.”

The words “playoffs” and “Nets” wouldn’t seem to belong in the same sentence if you’ve watched Brooklyn’s inconsistent, sub-.500 play this season.

But this is the Eastern Conference, where the team at the top of the standings, the Atlanta Hawks, could honestly lose all 29 of their remaining regular season games and still make the playoffs with their 43 victories.

Right now, the teams in those final two playoff spots in the East — Charlotte and Miami — are each seven games under .500. The Nets are only one game back, so the postseason remains a real possibility.

If Hollins is to be believed, help isn’t on the way, so the team will need to try to make it there with the players already in place on the roster.