The NBA is saying goodbye to two important members of Boston Celtics history: Kevin Garnett announced his retirement in September, while Paul Pierce plans to hang them up after the season.

Both players were integral in bringing a championship to Boston in 2008, forming the “Big Three” along with Ray Allen on one of the greatest NBA teams in recent memory. But what if that confluence of talent never happened? Stranger yet:

What if it happened somewhere else? Apparently, that alternate history was very close to playing out. In an interview with The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge offered a behind-the-scenes look into his attempt to get Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the summer of 2007. Among the revelations: Ainge had talks about trading Pierce to Minnesota instead of bringing KG to Boston.