The Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics, who nearly completed a blockbuster Kevin Garnett trade before the June draft, resurrected those talks in recent days and have advanced to the verge of a megadeal that is likely to be completed later Tuesday, according to NBA front-office sources.
A Celtics official went so far as to confirm to The Boston Globe's Jackie MacMullan (also an ESPN contributor) that a deal was "in place" as of late afternoon Monday to bring an end to Garnett's 12-year association with the Wolves.
NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com Tuesday that the final details have been worked out and the trade soon will be forwarded to the league office for an afternoon trade call to approve the deal.
Multiple sources said the deal includes two assets Wolves vice president Kevin McHale has coveted: Al Jefferson and Theo Ratliff's expiring contract.
It is believed the deal also calls for the Celtics to ship youngsters Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair and Ryan Gomes to Minnesota, along with a future first-round draft pick and the return of a first-rounder the Wolves surrendered in the Wally Szczerbiak-Ricky Davis trade in January 2006.
The clincher, though, is Garnett's apparent willingness to back off his well-chronicled refusal to play in Boston. Garnett's unwillingness to make a long-term commitment to the Celtics abruptly took this deal off the table in June, but McHale and his Boston counterpart, ex-teammate Danny Ainge, managed to resuscitate the trade and quickly move it to the brink of completion.
Among the details holding up completion are ongoing discussions between Garnett's camp and the Celtics on a contract extension and the nearly $5 million of a $6.75 million trade kicker that Garnett would be forced by salary-cap rules to waive if the Celtics don't add any other players to the five already in the deal. But there were indications Monday night, sources said, that the Celtics were close to clearing those hurdles with Garnett and securing the long-term reassurance they are seeking from the 10-time All-Star.