Ainge: Mums the word on Garnett

June 24, 2007

Despite reports to the contrary, sources confirmed last night there is still life to a Celtics deal for Kevin Garnett. It was also stated strongly that the club would never make such a move before it had an agreement with the Timberwolves star on a contract extension.

It was reported in Thursday's Herald that ``the process still is far from complete'' on a trade that would include Al Jefferson and the No. 5 pick going to Minnesota, and a source was quoted as saying, ``There's a good chance nothing happens.'' But it's clear the teams are still interested in pursuing the matter.

If the Celts ultimately decide it's a move worth making (and the Wolves agree), they can't put themselves in a position where Garnett would be here for just a season or two. The perennial All-Star has two years left on his current deal and can opt out after next season.

Danny Ainge had no comment yesterday, but a source very close to the situation denied a report that the Celtics director of basketball operations and Minnesota counterpart Kevin McHale hadn't discussed the deal in a week. The two did not talk toward the end of last week when Garnett's agent, Andy Miller, told the Herald's Mark Murphy and other reporters that his client didn't want to go to Boston. That claim was later dismissed as posturing by someone in the Celtics organization.

One connected source believes that Garnett may not want to leave Minnesota at all, while others are saying he would most welcome a move to Phoenix if he is traded.

The word last night is that the sides are letting the dust settle before revisiting the proposal this week. It remains uncertain whether all the requirements for a transaction - agreement on the principles, Garnett's acceptance of an extension - can be arranged, but the topic is still on the table for the two clubs.

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