Kevin Garnett Deserves To Be A Laker

By Austin Kent

When I first heard that a website existed with the sole intention of convincing Lakers management to unite Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett under one roof, I nearly lost my mind. Actually I did, I completely lost my mind, but only before quickly succumbing to an overwhelming sense of comfort and familiarity.

This is nothing new. Not to me at least, and not to the thousands of NBA disciples who’ve spent considerable portions of the past decade living in a fabricated basketball dream world, a world where inconceivable trade scenarios become a reality. The magic created with every thought of combining the league’s greats is what fuels the fantasy sports industry and the reason aspiring general managers of all ages pass on sleep for the several weeks leading up to February’s trade deadline.

The website, GetGarnett.com, has been around for less than a week but the concept behind the movement is far from revolutionary. Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett are the two greatest basketball bachelors in the game today; does a better ending to their historic but painfully unsatisfying careers exist? After growing up in Shaquille O’Neal’s shadow Kobe is finally a man, and he’s desperate to show he can still win big. Meanwhile Garnett’s still waiting for a sign from the basketball Gods that his career isn’t going to waste.

Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson have saddled up alongside Yao Ming and Carmelo Anthony respectively, while Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan all have impressive supporting casts of their own. Hell, even LeBron James can laugh at these NBDL all-star teams that call themselves the Timberwolves and Lakers.

As with any pipe dream trade scenario, the criticisms come in droves. One particular question that seems to be standing out is “how on Earth will Mitch Kupchak pull off such a deal without giving up the players he’s all but branded untradeable?” The answer is simple, he can’t.

Back in February fans across the country braced themselves for Jason Kidd’s arrival in Los Angeles, but were disappointed to hear that a deal could not be reached thanks to Kupchak’s reluctance to include Andrew Bynum.

A quick review of the rest of the Lakers’ roster shows that, aside from Luke Walton and Lamar Odom, they really don’t have much/anything to offer. I’m not exaggerating. Besides, do you honestly think the current Lakers squad would defeat the theoretical combination of Kobe, KG, and any other three human beings in a seven game series?

Now I’m no general manager, and rightfully so, but if Kupchak offers anything less than Odom, Walton and Bynum, together as a package, and comes away empty handed, then the Los Angeles Lakers don’t deserve such a loyal following. Kevin Garnett is the answer to LA’s insuppressible mediocrity.

Of course there’s the whole financial aspect that can’t be ignored, and Kupchak and Wolves GM Kevin McHale would have to work that out over the course of the summer, but unlike the rest of us, these two get paid to dream up ways to make it happen.

The people have spoken.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, I once rode the KB/KG tandem to 8 consecutive championships in NBA Live 2003. That’s no coincidence.

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7 thoughts on “Kevin Garnett Deserves To Be A Laker

  1. Even though it sounds good, I think by decimating the Lakers roster like that, it’s setting things up for a potential disaster, especially if you move Odom, Walton and Bynum/Parker for KG. There are no Shane Battiers, or even a Marcus Camby to be found on the Lakers roster, should they make a move. While I agree something has to be done, and Kobe needs another good, consistent go-to option, if they make the trades, you can expect teams like the Suns, heck even the Raptors to just pick them apart. KG doesn’t really inspire fear into anyone anymore, and while Kobe might drop 50+ on any given night, he won’t be able to do it EVERY night for an 84 game season, and certainly not enough to get the team into deep playoff contention.

  2. As much as I’d like to see KG leave basketball purgatory (Minny) I don’t see the Lakers being a better team if they dump all of their role players to obtain him. This isn’t duo wouldn’t be like Shaq and Kobe when they were winning championships because KG isn’t a player you can pound the ball into the low post to. While both are future Hall of Fame players they still need solid role players to play alongside.

    Kinnon raised a great point about glue guys – why would LA ditch someone like Luke Walton (who I believe is a FA anyway) when he was one of the few players that were content being a role/glue guy last season? If they lose Walton then their only “selfless” or glue guy left on the roster will be Turiaf and I’m not sold on the fact that he’s ready for major minutes.

    If the Lakers were to make a move they should have went with the offer on the table that would have seen Bynum head to NJ for Jason Kidd. Section F Sports wrote a great post about this last month that basically said if Mitch hadn’t of dealt Caron Butler for Kwame Brown and if the Kidd deal had gone through then LA would have had a starting five for the playoffs of:

    PG: Kidd
    SG: Bryant
    SF: Butler
    PF: Odom
    C: Turiaf.

    Granted, that’s a bit undersized and would lack a legit post presence (something that’s killing the Bulls against the Pistons) but I think it would have given Phoenix a much better run for their money…

  3. I think the major issue, the one responsible for shutting down the rational part of my brain when it comes to this trade, is replaceablity. Aside from the players that I mentioned in the article, LO, LW, and AB (and maybe Brian Cook), I don’t think anybody on this team could not be replaced with a careful free agent signing. Now I’m not talking about cashing big in the off season, I’m talking straight off waivers, or a call up from the NBDL. And as for the players that I DID mention, as much as I love them, they’re hardly one of a kind players either.

    The reason I mentioned the names that I did is because from a Wolves standpoint these are the only guys that really have anything to offer. I love Lamar Odom, he’s always been one of my favourite players, and what Luke Walton brings to the table would be extremely valuable to even the best teams in the NBA, but Minnesota’s not going to consider biting on a deal unless they get players that will change their organization in return, so the rest of the Lakers are out of the question.

    This whole trade would be a major shake up for both teams, but I belive that they do need it. If I’m Mitch Kupchak and acquiring Kevin Garnett is a real possiblity I will do it, because it’s a lot easier to find quality role players than it is to find a superstar willing to join forces with your own, even if it does mean giving up quality guys like Odom and Walton.

  4. It would be nice to see KG in a Laker uniform. I hope it happens but I don’t think it will. I do think they will get someone with some value just not KG. The lakers player movement is sad. They don’t jump on available players and they have dealt away too many good players. Look at Devean George, Robert Horry, Shaq, Derek Fisher….Need I say more. The Lakers management expect Kobe to do it alone!

  5. Anyone can see how frustrated Kobe is and he has every reason to be frustrated. He needs a supporting star player who can play defense as well as score consistently every night. That man is KG or JO. Even if the Lakers have to trade LO, and Bynam, and anyone else on the bench, the Lakers need a second scorer and strong defender during each game. If a big change does not happen this summer, Kobe will probably demand to be traded and I don’t blame him if that happens.

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