Pau Gasol at the Crossroads & the Potential Passing of the Best Power Forward Torch

With the fifth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Farragut Career Academy product Kevin Garnett, who became the first high school basketball player selected in the NBA draft since 1975.

Los Angeles Lakers' Paul Gasol (16) carries the ball against Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett (5) during the first half in Los Angeles on December 25, 2008. The Lakers beat the Celtics 92-83 ending the Celtics 19 game winning streak. (UPI Photo/Phil McCarten) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

The Garnett-led Timberwolves reached their apex in the summer of 2004, when they lost to the Kobe-Shaq Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. After being an elite player in the league for 12 years while playing for a middling team, Garnett requested, and received a trade to the Boston Celtics in the summer of 2008.

Dubbed “the Big 3”, Garnett, along with Celtic mainstay Paul Pierce, and the other newly acquired mercenary Ray Allen, were the core of the team that resurrected Boston Celtics basketball. Garnett was seen as the heart and soul of one of the best defenses in the modern era.

In the 2001 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected Spanish sensation Pau Gasol with the third over-all pick. He was then promptly traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for the immortal Shareef Abdur-Raheem. Gasol would go on to claim Rookie of the Year honors.
NEXT: Gasol, Garnett, and the 2008 NBA Finals…