The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has acquired two future first-round draft picks, one belonging to Utah and one belonging to Memphis, and center Kosta Koufos from the Utah Jazz in exchange for forward Al Jefferson.
"I want to thank Al for his three years with the Timberwolves and the professionalism he exhibited this summer," said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. "Al is motivated to have a career-defining season and I recognize the Jazz will be the recipients of that, not us. I expect him to help Utah immensely.
"However, this trade was made in the best interests of not only Al, but also us. With the arrival of Michael Beasley, it would have been difficult to play Al the kind of minutes he deserves without jeopardizing the development of both Kevin Love and Michael. Moreover, I believe we had to take the opportunity to do this trade during the summer, when a small handful of teams are capable of absorbing his salary without sending back equal contracts in return.
"The first-round picks we receive plus the flexibility that we now have under the salary cap made this the right time to make what was a difficult decision."
Jefferson, the 15th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, was acquired by the Timberwolves on July 31, 2007, along with Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair and two first round draft picks in exchange for Kevin Garnett.
Jefferson appeared in 208 games over three seasons in Minnesota, averaging 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game for the Wolves. He established career-bests of 23.1 points per game during the 2008-09 and 11.1 rebounds per game in 2007-08. Jefferson's 308 offensive rebounds during the 2007-08 season set a Wolves franchise record. This past season, Jefferson averaged 17.1 points and 9.3 rebounds in 76 games.
— The team's presser.