Thursday , Jun , 28 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Why The Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, & Phoenix Suns Couldn’t Complete The Kevin Garnett & Amare Stoudemire Trade

The three-team trade rumor involving Garnett has hit a snag … One of Atlanta’s owners had little interest in adding Stoudemire’s salary … This is a major blow to all three teams, but the Suns and Wolves are still talking … Click here for news and analysis …

ESPN reports the Atlanta Hawks have reservations about their part in the most recent Kevin Garnett rumor:

According to multiple sources, the Timberwolves have been talking to multiple teams about finding a third team to help facilitate a Garnett trade.

As reported on Tuesday evening, Minnesota was looking to acquire Atlanta’s No. 3 and No. 11 picks in Thursday’s draft along with several cap-friendly contracts from the Hawks and Phoenix Suns. To participate, Atlanta wanted Amare Stoudemire from Phoenix.

On Wednesday, sources say one of the Hawks owners vetoed a hypothetical deal for Stoudemire for financial reasons.

The Hawks ownership group, Atlanta Spirit LLC, is embroiled in a nasty lawsuit with former partner Steve Belkin. Belkin won a lawsuit against Atlanta Spirit LLC last summer and a judge ruled that he could buy out the owners of Atlanta Spirit and gain full ownership of the team. Atlanta Spirit is currently appealing the ruling.

In the meantime, Belkin holds some authority over the team. He can veto any trade or free agent signing that takes the team above the NBA salary cap. Several sources suggested that it was Belkin who vetoed the trade.

My Quick Take: The more things change, the more they stay the same with the .

Their impressive second-half means nothing. The Hawks are still the Hawks-completely dysfunctional and destined to underachieve.

However, this time the problem isn’t on-the-court. Clearly, their ineptitude extends to the front-office, where a teenage tiff between owners has prevented the Hawks from adding the NBA’s best young big man.

The Atlanta Spirit LLC runs, or ruins, the Hawks. Two years ago, ownership went to court over signing . The court decided that Steve Belkin, now the renegade partner, can veto all personnel moves until a permanent ownership solution can be found.  

There still looking for that permanent solution. Meanwhile, Belkin’s using his veto power to block the Stoudemire trade. Forget about improving the team-especially if that means dropping a dime or two on payroll. And forget about the best interests of the franchise-Belkin, it appears, would rather stick it to his fellow owners.

Memo to Steve: ‘scared money don’t make money’ and ‘business should never be personal.’

Their dispute has hurt the on-court product. And, for once, Atlanta has a reasonable on-court product. Correction-had a reasonable on-court product.

and Joe Johnson are two of the game’s best young talents. The Hawks would be playoff-bound with Amare Stoudemire in the mix.

But Smith, a hi-flying and athletic post, will soon be eligible to negotiate a new  contract. He’s seen this fiasco unfold on television and ESPN. So why would he want to sign a long-term extension with the Hawks?

After this most-recent disaster involving Stoudemire, Smith has probably put his house on the market, packed his bags, and instructed his agent to get him the hell out of The ATL.

I don’t blame Smith. Not one bit. Ownership can’t get their act together and doesn’t want to win.

With Stoudemire in the fold, Atlanta would no longer be an NBA wasteland. Think back to the 1988 playoffs when Bird battled Wilkins in that epic Celtics-Hawks series. I’m getting ahead of myself, but the Hawks would become relevant again.

Unfortunately, a renegade owner stepped in and ruined everything. The franchise’s credibility has taken another hit. And their will be long-term consequences. The more things change, the more they stay the same with the Atlanta Hawks.

-The and are still talking about a Garnett trade. They need to find another team to replace the Hawks. This will take time. Look for Garnett to get dealt after the draft.  

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