Before Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green created a powerhouse in California, the Warriors were seemingly on the verge of creating a special team in the late 2000s. However, the team was in need of a superstar player to take the team all the way and Kevin Garnett could have been that piece.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News spoke for former Warriors executive vice president of basketball operations Chris Mullin on The TK Show and revisited a deal that could have brought the former league MVP to the Warriors. As Mullin recalls, Garnett was ready to leave the Timberwolves and pursue a championship elsewhere; and the Warriors were coming off an improbable season where they upset the No. 1 seed Mavericks in the first round of the postseason before losing to the Jazz in five games.
“After the playoff series with Utah, we had a nice group but we were trying to figure out a way to bridge the gap,” Mullin said (via RealGM). “We had a deal. Kevin Garnett was getting ready to move and I think he was being very selective. But at one point, he liked our situation.”
Acquiring “The Big Ticket” would have required a steep package but Mullin believes that Golden State was in prime position to field a championship-caliber squad, no matter the cost.
“The exact deal was probably going to be more Minnesota’s choice. We had Monta (Ellis), Andris (Biedrins), the pick itself, Jason (Richardson), Baron (Davis). We felt whatever combination they took, we had enough,” Mullin added.
However, the Warriors’ higher-ups, Chris Cohan and Robert Rowell, vetoed the deal, citing financial reasons. Garnett went on to be traded to the Celtics and form “The Big Three” alongside Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, capturing the 2007/08 NBA championship.
If money had not been an issue, Garnett could have cemented his Hall of Fame career with the Warriors.