Kevin Garnett to Boston after all?

KG

So Kevin Garnett could be coming to Boston after all?

ESPN is reporting that talks between Minnesota and the Celtics resumed Sunday, with former teammates and close friends Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge intent on making it work.

And it has to. Minnesota has been trying to unload Garnett for almost 12 months and need to make something happen. The Celtics aren’t much better after the Ray Allen deal and still possess plenty of trading assets.

But why the renewed talks now, after last month’s all-but-done deal was squashed by KG’s reluctance to come to Beantown?

A few reasons:

1). Boston doesn’t suck as much. I’m a little skeptical of the Ray Allen deal, but still, it gives the Celts a second bona fide All-Star and someone who can stretch the perimeter for slashers like Pierce and Rondo. Having two All-Star veterans makes the Celtics much more appealing.

2) Where else is Garnett going to go? The Kobe-KG talks have silenced since the first week the possibility was reported. Golden State seems to be out of the running after the Warriors dealt their main bargaining chip, Jason Richardson, to Charlotte in a draft day deal for Brandan Wright. Phoenix, ESPN is reporting, is unwilling to part with Amare Stoudamire (who would have to be part of the deal – the T-Wolves aren’t considering a Shawn Marion package) and might have trouble making a deal work financially.

3) Maybe Garnett talked to Lebron James.
KG: Listen Bron, how would I like it in the East?
King James: You’ll love it. Every team is whack. You can win right away.
KG: Yea, true. I guess Pierce and Allen is a little better than Gibson and Hughes.
KJ: Umm…yea. Hello.

After Bron-Bron one-man-showed it to the NBA Finals with a group of misfits and gimmicks (see my Lebron playoff post in the archives), it’s apparent that the Eastern Conference is as ripe for the taking as ever. No doubt Garnett noticed this. A trio of Garnett, Pierce and Allen is obviously outstanding and would no doubt contend in the Western conference, never mind the diluted East.

The only drawback it seems, is that Gerald Green would now have to be included in the deal as a replacement for the No. 5 pick that was part of the previous package. Pretty steep considering Al Jefferson is a given in the deal. Ditto Theo Ratliff. Sebastian Telfair would probably round out the offering, with the possibility of a few throw-in players from each side to even out the money (Troy Hudson to Boston, maybe) and probably a future draft pick or two to Minny.

Now — not considering any future picks — if you put the deals for Allen and KG together into one super-mega-trade, it looks like this:

Boston gives:
Al Jefferson
Gerald Green
Sebastian Telfair
Theo Ratliff
Wally Szczerbiak
Delonte West
Jeff Green (No. 5 pick in 2007)

Boston gets:
Ray Allen
Kevin Garnett
Glen “Big Baby” Davis (2007 second-rounder)

Talk about an overhaul. I’m not a Danny Ainge fan. I admit he’s drafted fairly well, but his trades have been mostly disastrous and his penchant for acquiring un-athletic, white players (Raef, Wally, Scales and Dan Dickau) always leaves the team with one or two stiffs clogging the roster.

That said, if he pulls this off, he will have finally done what he came here to do in 2003 – field a legitimate title contender. He may have changed his course of direction half a dozen times, but at least he’s always worked with what he’s had.

When the Celts were sitting atop the division two years ago and threatening in a crappy East, he went out and got Antoine Walker and re-acquired Gary Payton, abandoning the youth movement. When the team was saddled with veteran bums and lacking the cap space to improve via free agency, he fielded a roster of 20-somethings that took their lumps, tanked for a chance at Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, and along the way, showcased the young talent.

When the Celtics didn’t get the pick, Ainge again scrapped the youth movement, this time opting to wheel-and-deal from his stockpile of youngsters and draft picks.

It may have taken five years, but if this deal come to fruition, Ainge’s tenure, however flip-floppy and short-sided it might have been at times, might be considered a success.

And that’s something no one could have predicted.

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2 Responses to Kevin Garnett to Boston after all?

  1. balla says:

    This is the one thing about real life — you start to read everything you can on the internet. That said, here’s a couple reasons I think the Celtics trading for Kevin Garnett is misguided.

    KG is probably the best all-around player in the game. Like it or not, however, he has never been a winner. He’s made it to the Western Conference finals once with Cassell and Sprewell. I know he’s never had a good team and he’s never played in the significantly worse Eastern Conference, but the sheer numbers of players the Celtics have to give up is questionable.

    Obviously, you’re going to be starting Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce–a formidable trio. If this was assembled in NBA Live 2004, there’s no chance you wouldn’t have won the NBA title.

    But as you know should know, for the Celtics to actually be title contenders, those three are going to have to play a lot. This has been a problem for Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Garnett is a gamer who plays no matter what. But we already saw this with the Trailblazers from a while back, the Mavericks about four years ago and the Nuggets last year.

    Having that many “A+” players in the NBA is really tough to deal with. Out of those three, who takes the last shot? KG, right? Well, that’s been the role of both Paul Pierce and Ray Allen for a long time, too. You might argue Boston is Pierce’s team, Allen is the best pure shooter and KG is the best pure player of the lot.

    In some cases, lots of star potential on one team works. Think the Bulls of the ’90s and the Heat of two years ago. Certainly, having KG, Allen and Pierce on the floor at the same time is going to bring in television ratings (very important in the NBA) and will also give the Celtics more revenues from ticket sales.

    But getting back to an earlier point, the Celtics give up a LOT in this deal. Almost too much. Consider the comparison between Al Jefferson (who was actually born nine days after I was) and Kevin Garnett from last season:

    Jefferson– 16 ppg, 11 rpg
    Garnett– 22 ppg, 12.8rpg

    Obviously — and I’m not stupid enough to say Jefferson is nearly as good as Garnett– the Celtics are giving up a lot of potential. In a couple years, I think we all know Jefferson is going to be one of the top power forwards in the league. He’ll be 24. Believe it or not, Garnett turns 32 next season and has 13 NBA seasons under his belt already.

    Plus Gerald? You have to give up Gerald? This deal reminds me a LOT of when the Mariners traded Griffey to the Reds after the 2000 season. On the surface, the REDS GOT GRIFFEY. But he was older — still young, but older — and the Reds gave up a lot of talent to get him. The Mariners proceeded to win 116 games the next season (with help from Ichiro, obviously) and the Reds still haven’t made the playoffs with him on the team.

    The Celtics certainly do get a lot with Garnett. And maybe it makes them contenders right away. But their team is not deep after the outcome of those trades. You have an inexperienced point guard starting with three superstars and Kendrick Perkins. It’s still a contending squad, but I’m not sure it’s a championship team.

    Depending on how many years you think Pierce and Allen have left, it might be smart to lay off KG and roll with Jefferson. Under the tutelage of Ray Allen, you might see Gerald develop a little bit (can you imagine if his awareness rating was above like 30?) over the next couple of years. Jefferson is already a force and will only get better.

    I guess my final point is this: the Eastern Conference already blows. With the team the Celts h ave right now, they’re contenders. Why sacrifice the base of youth they’ve already established to get another star? It totally negates everything they’ve been trying to do for the last three years.

    Are there enough shots for all three in a halfcourt offense? Is Rondo skilled enough to get the ball to the superstars? What happens when Gerald goes off for 50 against the Hawks? What if the T-Wolves make the playoffs?

    It’s definitely exciting for Celtics fans and all the more power to y’all if you get KG, but consider this a word of warning that KG21 might not be the ultimate answer to the insatiable Boston desire for another NBA championship.

  2. obeese says:

    except that KG isn’t a take the last shot kind of guy, which is why he and Kobe would have been perfect, and pierce will have the ball and be able to dish to ray ray on the outside or KG anywhere inside 18 feet once the defense collapses on him, so that part works. jefferson’s gonna be great, but the unfortunate part is that his passing and defense aren’t ready yet, and you need to go one way or the other, so getting KG is the only way now that we made the Ray Allen deal. so, basically, this is the best we could do under the circumstances, and it’s pretty damn good. i think giving up gomes in the deal sucks because it makes it harder for us to field a full rotation of decent role players, but if we effectively use our mid level exception to get 2 or 3 other good guys we’ll be ok. basically, we’ll get close to the finals next year, then hopefully fire doc and get a little better and a more mature perk and rondo and new coach=title in 2008 and another great chance in 2009. btw i’m buying a an old al jefferson jersey now that it’s going on sale.

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