Tuesday , Jun , 26 , 2007 Oly Sandor

L.A. Lakers Would Corner Kobe Bryant By Acquiring Kevin Garnett

The four-team deal involving Kevin Garnett is dead … Now the Wolves and Lakers are discussing a two-team trade, where Bynum and Odum would head to Minnesota in exchange for The Big Ticket … But would Bryant still want out if L.A. acquired KG? … Click here for news and analysis …

The Associated Press is reporting that John Paxson and the have little interest in acquiring :

"What we would have to give up — unless that franchise would ever have a change of heart and had to do something — I don’t know how that would work," he said. "They’ve got one of the top, maybe the top, talents in the league. What we would have to do to get there, I don’t even know what it would be. It would be significant. And then, are we better?"

 Bryant has waffled this offseason, saying he wants to be dealt and then rescinding those comments. Although he has a no-trade clause, The Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise reported the Bulls are on his three-team wish list. Paxson is reluctant to gut a young, but experienced, team that has made three straight playoff appearances and reached the second round for the first time since 1998. "

There’s nothing going on — that’s just the reality of it," Paxson said.

Bryant was hoping to join Chicago. Too bad-the Bulls won’t break up their team for Kobe Bean.

Over the last few days, the have explored bringing in another superstar to appease Bryant. A four team deal which would have seen L.A. acquire is apparently dead.

But the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Lakers and Wolves are now discussing a two team deal, which would see Garnett head to Hollywood:

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor was expected to be in the Timberwolves‘ offices this morning before departing for a honeymoon in . His appearance at team headquarters suggested a quick resolution on the Lakers‘ proposal, which includes forward Lamar Odom and center Andrew Bynum. However, sources said that Kevin McHale, the Timberwolves‘ vice president of basketball operations, wasn’t keen on the Lakers‘ offer. In another scenario, the Lakers could include center Kwame Brown in the deal and also acquire Troy Hudson or Marko Jaric to address a need for a ballhandling guard while lifting an unfavorable contract off the Timberwolves‘ books.

My Quick Take: There are two things worth noting here. First, the Bulls are making the right move by pulling out of the Bryant sweepstakes. Chicago, with their young nucleus, is on the verge of something special. You could see it in the way they fought back from a 0-3 deficit against the Pistons in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Sure, they eventually lost to . But their playoff run was a positive sign-a step in the right direction. The Bulls, if they want to swing a major trade, should go after a low post scorer and steer clear of Bryant.

Second, the drama and gossip have created a buyer’s market for Bryant. With everything that’s occurred, the Lakers can’t get equal value for #24. However, if the Lakers acquire another superstar-like Kevin Garnett-they’ll back Bryant into a corner.

Seriously, what would Kobe do if L.A. lands The Big Ticket?

Bryant’s upset because the Lakers haven’t surrounded him with talent. He’s complained to Stephen A. Smith. He’s complained to team management. He’s even complained to two random guys outside a California restaurant. Depending on your perspective, Kobe’s actions may or may not be justified.

His complaints wouldn’t hold weight if K.G. came to Hollywood. The Big Ticket is a legit superstar-a first ballot Hall of Famer. Together, Bryant and Garnett would form a lethal 1-2 punch, capable of dominating the Western Conference.

Kobe would risk a huge backlash if he continued to push for a trade after the team acquired Garnett. In fact, he couldn’t do it. The guard would be forced to resume his playing career in L.A.-whether he wanted to or not.

Trading for the Big Ticket would appease Bryant. But it would also do something else. It would give the Lakers leverage over their superstar.

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