There's a mini story brewing through the internet and LA sports talk radio. Someone named Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.com is reporting that the Lakers are close to acquiring Kevin Garnett in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Pincus offers no specifics as to who Minnesota would receive in return. Nor does he give any explanation has to why the T-Wolves would give up Garnett, let alone send him to the Lakers of all teams. LAist believes this is really far-fetched, but there are some factors that at least make this deal plausible. And we'd love it to happen.
First off, Garnett loves LA. He spends his offseasons here, and reportedly he's been training all summer in Malibu, adding some muscle to his 6-11 frame. Additionally, Garnett is frustrated with the Timberwolves, who have let both Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell go, and have gotten dramatically worse since their Western Conference finals season in 2003. The Wolves basically offer just Wally Szczerbiak as a second-scoring threat, unless you want to count ex-Clippers Michael Olowokandi and Marko Jaric.
Garnett will turn 30 this season, and he wants a ring now before its too late. He doesn't want to wallow away in Minnesota when he could join Kobe in LA and have a legitimate shot at something special.
While the Timberwolves might seem crazy to want to trade away their top drawing card, they do owe Garnett more than $20 million a year through 2009, and might want a smaller payroll if they're not winning now, continuing to go younger with guys like rookie Rashad McCants. Why they'd let him to go a rival like the Lakers, when there are probably a ton of teams that would trade the farm for Garnett, is beyond us.
Theoretically, any deal for Garnett would have to include Lamar Odom in order to make the salaries work. The Lakers might also need to include an overpriced guy in the final year of his contract, like Devean George or Slava Medvedenko. It's possible that Kwame Brown might be dangled, but we doubt that would happen. We could legitimately see Brian Cook becoming part of this deal, or the Lakers being forced to take on an overpriced Mark Madsen.
There's about a million different scenarios that could play out, and we're probably wasting our time writing about this. But LAist would heartily endorse a deal to bring Garnett to LA. What Laker fan wouldn't want to see Kobe and KG together in Purple and Gold?