Thursday, May 11, 2006

KG's Future

Per Jerome’s request…

Right now, most NBA analysts would tell you that there’s a better chance of Zacarias Moussaou leading your mass this Sunday than Kevin Garnett getting shipped out of Minnesota. In fact, in an ESPN interview a few weeks ago, Ric Bucher was asked about a potential deal and gave one of those “yeah right” chuckles you get after asking out a girl who’s way out of your league. And from the Wolves’ perspective, that’s probably true. Obviously the team would rather hold onto their franchise player than deal him for 75 cents on the dollar. But when Garnett is lounging in his living room, thinking about Mark Blount botching yet another rebound, and he hears this quote from Carmelo on SportsCenter: “I don't want to be like Kevin Garnett and take eight years to get out of the first round”, what does that do to his psyche? I mean, we’re talking about a guy who broke down in a national television interview last year—a sure fire sign of mental and physical exhaustion. So in hearing ‘Melo run his mouth and knowing damn well he’s being disrespected throughout the league (nevermind by his own team), will it finally push him to request a trade? Well, if you listen to Bucher and the rest of these cynical analysts, not a chance. But c’mon now, you’re telling me if Garnett emails Kevin McHale with, “Trade me or watch me come to camp looking like Shawn Kemp, post coke binge”, the Wolves’ brass will really have a choice? I say no. Thus, I feel KG has a critical decision to make in the coming months: either demand a trade, or force the Wolves to acquire…well, you’ll see. Let’s breakdown both options.

KG Requests a Trade

At this point, Garnett’s life has transformed into that of say, a 40 year-old married man. KG’s training his ass off this off-season, lifting, working cardio, perfecting his jumper, etc. The 40 year-old, we’ll call him Frank, is still dressing sharp, working out three times a week, and eating healthy. Then one day, something snaps. Mid butterfly curl, Frank stops and thinks, “What the hell am I doing? I’m stuck with the same woman and three kids for the rest of my life, why the hell am I taking such good care of myself?” So, rather than go to the gym MWF, he starts picking up 6-packs and pork rinds after work. Rocking sport coats and button downs, out. ’85 Bears Super Bowl sweatshirts and pajama pants, in. So, what does this have to do with Garnett? Well, at some point KG has to begin to wonder why he continues to bust his ass while the Minnesota front office remains stagnant. The situation practically begs the question, why has The Big Ticket remained so loyal to such a disrespectful franchise? When is he going to get fed up and demand a trade?

So, what if it does come to this? What if KG decides, “Fuck it, I’m out”? What would be some likely destinations? Chicago would have to be one, especially with the Bulls owning enticing pieces such as Chandler, Deng, Gordon, and the Knicks’ lottery pick in the upcoming Draft. In fact, GM John Paxson would be a moron not to have guys like Jordan and Pippen shooting texts to KG that Chi-town is the place to play. But he shouldn’t need much convincing. Garnett went to high school there. If he wants to go and get the respect he deserves, what better place to play than your own backyard? Shoot, if anything, his mom will be there to heat up some Chunky soup. Okay, so let’s say a package of Chandler, BG, the Knicks’ first, and cap fodder gets it done. Chicago would obtain a franchise player; a guy with enough heart and talent to allow for Bulls’ fans move on from the Jordan era. On the other hand, Minnesota would receive two very good young players, as well as the potential #1 overall pick (Tyrus Thomas?). Thus, the two adjusted starting lineups could look something like this:

Chicago: Hinrich, Deng, Nocioni, Garnett, Sweetney/FA
Minnesota: Banks (FA), Gordon, Davis, Thomas, Chandler

In my opinion, both organizations move in necessary directions. The Bulls gain the ability to compete right away and the Wolves finally enter their long overdue rebuilding phase. Plus, the prospect of Chicago becoming an elite NBA team again should do wonders for the league.

Two other options:


--A team/city who desires/deserves a championship just as much as Garnett
--Owns the talent/youth to get a deal done (Jefferson, Green, lottery pick, etc.)
--A deal would create a potentially devastating duo in Garnett and Pierce


--Have the necessary centerpiece (Odom) to get a deal done
--If anyone can get KG a championship it’s Phil Jackson
--A deal would create a potentially devastating duo in Garnett and Kobe

KG Stays and the Wolves Make a Deal

Before I get into this, take a gander at some of the “stars” who have come and gone through the Twin Cities.

1996: Traded the rights to Ray Allen and a future 1st round pick for Stephon Marbury
1999: Traded Marbury for Terrell Brandon and 1st (Sczcerbiak)
2000: Joe Smith scandal, lost 1st round picks in ’01, ’02, ’04, and ‘05
2002: Lost Chauncey Billups to free agency (Detroit)
2003: Acquired Sam Cassell
2003: Acquired Latrell Sprewell
2005: Traded Sam Cassell for Marko Jaric and a future 1st (top 10 protected through 2010)
2005: Sprewell elects to sit out season
2005: Traded Sczcerbiak and a future 1st for Davis, Banks, and Blount

I included that Smith scandal just to further prove my point that the Minnesota front office is as worthless as a stripper with a BA from Harvard. Seriously, what have they done to give Garnett a remote shot at a title? This is like getting your girlfriend/spouse gift certificates to alternating fast food chains for her birthdays and yet she somehow stays with you. It’s about time to get her the bling she deserves, er, the compliment KG deserves. And no, I’m not talking about some Mid-Level guy who, at best, will come in, win the Most Improved award, and help the team to a 7 or 8 seed. No sir, that’s not going to cut it. Anything less than a championship won’t satisfy. Thus, this leaves the Wolves front office with only one option: go out and get that one guy who can help get it done, Allen Iverson.

In thinking about a potential AI and KG duo, doesn’t it almost make too much sense? Both players are perennial All-Stars, own an endless passion for the game, are playing in the latter halves of their careers, and yet both remain without a title. Seriously, is there any NBA fan who would object to these two pairing up? Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for launching this idea, as recent reports out of Philly are saying that a potential AI for Ricky Davis and Mark Blount deal is on the table. However, if you believe there is any truth behind that, you’re a moron. First of all, it doesn’t even work under the current CBA rules. Second of all, why on earth would the Sixers make such a ludicrous deal? Third of all, how offended would Iverson be after giving every drop of sweat he had to the Philadelphia organization and getting traded for those two? To get a deal done, a third team would have to be brought in. And since we’re in the heart of Playoff and pre-Draft season, realistic rumors probably won’t be surfacing for some time now. But in the mean time, let’s just hope and pray that KG gets his shot a title in the coming years. Because after all, over the last eleven seasons no one player has given more to this game than he has—and so if he doesn’t deserve a championship, no one does. (The same could be said for his future teammate)


At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Decent article. KG did not grow up in Chicago however, he grew up in South Carolina and moved to Chicago for his senior year of high school.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

thanks man, the necessary changes have been made. it so hard to keep track of all that.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Jerome said...

Much appreciated. I was certainly surprised and honoured to see you obliged my request :) Oh, and, "decent article..." ?!?! C'mon, I actually thought it was pretty good; best insight I've heard or read about the topic yet.

It really is such a tough situation. KG seems to be a lot like Colin Powell, willing to hang in there and maintain honor amidst the worst. I certainly agree with you though, if he doesn't go anywhere Minnesota must get a solid point gaurd. AI would be a good match: both have been plagued by the ever dreaded "can I get some help" syndrome. Hell, AI was almost able to work some magic with Webber! He'd certainly flourish with KG.

I notice too you keep up with baseball. How about my Tigers :) I hope they can maintain. It'd be great to replace the annual late season Sox/Yankees chase with a Chicago/Tigers one.

At 8:23 PM, Blogger Jerome said...

You know, now that I think about it, and do correct me if I'm wrong, signing that big-ass deal was the worst thing KG coulda done. Sure it was a ton of money, but doing something so long term made the deal just like what you said Ant, a marriage. There's no way out and Minnesota is under no pressure to make sure KG gets what he needs. Had he done a bunch of 3 or 4 year deals, it would have forced Minnesota to step their game up every so often and make sure they were keeping him happy. Hopefully Lebron (and the rest of his class that are re-negotiating this summer), don't make the same mistake.


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