"This is a KG deal for the future of the Utah Jazz" - NBA analyst compares Danny Ainge's exploits with Jazz to Kevin Garnett deal with the Boston Celtics

Danny Ainge (left), Kevin Garnett (right)
Danny Ainge (left), Kevin Garnett (right)

Danny Ainge is widely viewed as one of the best front office executives in the NBA. He earned that reputation from years of success as General Manager of the Boston Celtics from 2004-2021.

He put himself on the map when he pulled off two separate blockbuster trades to acquire Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Ray Allen from the Seattle SuperSonics in the summer of 2007. The moves were an immediate success, and led to the Celtics winning an NBA championship the following season in 2008.

Ainge is now the CEO of basketball operations/alternate governor for the Utah Jazz, and is looking to leave the same imprint in Salt Lake City that he did in Boston.

The 63-year old kicked off the Utah Jazz's rebuilding efforts this summer by receiving a haul of players and draft picks in returning for shipping All-Star center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves and All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The moves seem awfully reminiscent of when he dealt an aging Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013, according to NBA analyst Roland Lazenby in a recent interview with PTV Sports:

Danny Ainge has established a pretty solid reputation as a very, very good basketball executive in the NBA. He obviously came out of the Boston Celtics organization which was built by the great Red Auerbach, perhaps the ultimate NBA executive for arranging KG deals. This is a KG deal for the future of the Utah Jazz. That team has been good but it really sort of gotten to where it was going to get. It wasn’t going to get any better. There were some chemistry issues.

Kevin Garnett was famously traded to the Boston Celtics on July 31, 2007. In return, the Minnesota Timberwolves received Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, and two first-round picks.

The Timberwolves had little to no success with the assets they acquired in the deal, and fell into years of obscurity which resulted in a 13-year playoff drought.

13 years ago today, Danny Ainge and the Celtics made this trade...Minnesota gets:Al JeffersonSebastian TelfairGerald GreenRyan GomesTheo Ratliffcash considerations2 first round picksBoston gets:Kevin GarnettThe first of many times Ainge would fleece an opposing GM.

Danny Ainge's second Kevin Garnett trade

2007 wasn't the only time Danny Ainge made a trade involving Kevin Garnett. Six years later, Ainge moved Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, D.J. White, and a first and second-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph and four first-round picks.

While the trade took some time to pay off for the Boston Celtics, two of those first-round picks turned into their current star duo - Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Many felt that the move would signal a long rebuild for the Celtics. However, the package that Ainge received ensured that the Celtics would be retooling instead of rebuilding.

The Boston Celtics were in the Eastern Conference finals four years after Danny Ainge traded Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for 5 players, 3 first round picks, and a pick swap. They drafted Jayson Tatum in 2017 and Jaylen Brown in 2016 with two of the four picks.

Ainge will be looking to do something similar in Utah with the plethora of draft picks he's already received in trades this offseason.

With veteran players such as Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson also rumored to be on the trade block, Ainge is going to have an embarrassment of riches to choose from in the coming seasons.

The future in Utah is very bright.

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Edited by andrew.tysiak
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