Monday , Jun , 25 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Minnesota Timberwolves Need More In Return To Trade Kevin Garnett To The L.A. Lakers

There’s a new Kevin Garnett trade rumor involving L.A., Boston, Indiana, and Minnesota … The Big Ticket would leave the Wolves and join Kobe in Hollywood … However, Minnesota is blocking this deal because they aren’t getting enough in return … Click here for this story and analysis …

ESPN’s Chad Ford reports on a trade rumor involving four teams that would see Kevin Garnett join the Lakers:

According to the source, the key to completing the deal is finding a fourth team that would (a) take Jermaine O’Neal and (b) send the Timberwolves enough pieces to complete the deal.

For instance, here’s one scenario that could work:

The Wolves send Kevin Garnett and Marko Jaric to the Lakers.

The Lakers send Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum to the Pacers and the No. 19 pick to the Wolves.

The Pacers send Jermaine O’Neal to the Celtics.

The Celtics send the No. 5 pick, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair to Minnesota.

Here’s what that trade looks like in the Trade Machine, keeping in mind that there will also be draft picks involved.

The deal seems as though it would probably work for the Lakers, Pacers and Celtics.

The Lakers would get the guy they want to pair with Kobe in KG. Surely that would end any talk of a Kobe trade this summer.

The Pacers would get the two guys they want in exchange for O’Neal in Odom and Bynum. They’ve been waiting patiently for a straight-up swap with L.A. for weeks involving those three players (and a draft pick).

The Celtics would get another star quality player to pair with Paul Pierce without having to give up Al Jefferson.

But is it enough for Minnesota? That’s the question.

The deal would give the Wolves more than $20 million in cap relief next summer and two additional picks in this year’s draft. It also would give them two young prospects in Green and Telfair.

It may, however, fall a little short for Minnesota in the talent department. Perhaps the Wolves would bite if another young player or future draft pick were included.    

My Quick Take: Ford provides a great breakdown. He’s absolutely right. The Wolves can’t go ahead with this proposed deal and trade for a mixed bag of prospects, draft picks, and cap space. They’re not getting enough back. It’s not even close.

Trading a superstar for blue-chip prospects is risky enough. Now consider that Minnesota wouldn’t be receiving back a top prospect from the other teams. Bynum would head to Indiana, while Jefferson would stay in . is a good player, but far from a sure thing. And the Wolves would be doing the Celtics a favor by taking Telfair off their hands.

Draft picks aren’t a sure thing either. Teams can hit a home run selecting fifth-like drafting . Or teams can strike out from the five hole-remember, Denver taking Nikoloz Tskitishvili back in 2002? And nobody really knows what kind of player Minnesota would get with Boston’s fifth pick in this year’s draft.

Cap space is only an asset for teams in desirable locations. Think warm weather cities like Miami, , and . Free agents are also attracted to the bright lights of and . With Garnett in L.A., elite free agents won’t consider Minnesota because of the climate and state of the franchise. Cap room won’t matter.

Don’t believe me? For years, , a city with culture and warm weather, had tons of cap space, but couldn’t sign free agents because they never won games. The money didn’t matter. The Hawks were only able to sign with their cap space. So I think the Wolves would also struggle trying to attract free agents.

Bottom line-this isn’t the right deal for Minnesota. They should hold out for more.

But there’s another potential holdup. It’s been reported that L.A. and The Big Ticket have had informal discussions about a new contract. This isn’t enough. The two sides must engage in meaningful negotiations and, at a minimum, hammer out the framework for a future deal.

L.A. shouldn’t trade for Garnett unless they can can re-sign him to an extension.

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