Timberwolves Close to Trading Garnett

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett is close to going to the Phoenix Suns in a monumental three-way trade that would send Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire to the Atlanta Hawks, league sources said Wednesday.

Atlanta would move the Nos. 3 and 11 picks in Thursday's draft, as well as Zaza Pachulia and Anthony Johnson, to Minnesota.

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor has delivered a mandate to his basketball executives to get a deal done, one league executive said.

Yahoo! Sports has learned that the trade would also save the Hawks from an emerging showdown between the front office and coaching staff over whom to draft with the third pick. The front office and coaching staff had settled on Florida power forward Al Horford, but a faction of the Atlanta Spirit ownership group, with business interests in China, is pushing them to take Yi Jianlian.

The deal hinges on Atlanta general manager Billy Knight saying yes, as well as Hawks ownership, which is mired in lawsuits, being willing to increase payroll. It is believed that star Hawks guard Joe Johnson talked to his former Suns teammate on Wednesday and that the 24-year-old Stoudemire, a first-team All-NBA choice, told him that he'd welcome the trade.


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