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:
Jeff Green (No. 5 pick in 2007)
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.