Thursday , Jul , 26 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Golden State Warriors Pass Phoenix Suns As Frontrunners In Kevin Garnett Sweepstakes

The Warriors have all the parts to pull off a KG trade … Golden State has the guts, the roster parts and unlike, other teams, they seem prepared to assume Garnett’s expensive contract … Click here for news and analysis on this story … and Tim Kawakami, a San Jose Mercury sports writer, discuss the Garnett rumors:

WW.NET: Warrior Fans are on 24/7 KG watch, is it just a tease or does Mully have it in him to pull off a deal for Kg?

Tim: Since I’m right along there on the 24/7 Warriors-Garnett watch and have been on sentry duty for 2 years now, it’s hard for me to say it’s impossible. Actually, I think it’s very possible and that’s one thing I think Mullin has always known: He has the best match for what Minnesota should want. Let me emphasize SHOULD, because who knows what Kevin McHale, in his trembly heart of hearts, really wants for KG.

As I’ve written a few times, the longer we go into this, the less likely that other serious bidders are going to stay bidding–Phoenix would be the big dog in this one. If Phoenix has decided Amare Stoudamire won’t be moved for KG, then the Warriors become the next-most-likely candidate, it’s just up to McHale.

Mullin made the Baron Davis move. He made the Stephen Jackson/Al Harrington for Dunleavy/Murphy/Diogu move. He can do big deals. And those were nothing compared to the time and will he has put into chasing KG. So let’s see…

My Quick Take: I agree with Kawakami’s answer. Point blank: is the front-runner to acquire The Big Ticket from . The Warriors possess the guts and parts to pull off a blockbuster, mega-trade for .

I think Golden State, as a franchise, has the moxie to complete such a complex transaction. The Warriors’ organization, at every level, is open to taking risks and changing their roster. Their coach, Don Nelson, while personable, often resembles a mad-scientist, looking for odd and bizarre mismatches on the court. Their GM, Chris Mullin, isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on major trades. Their owner, Chris Cohan, re-hired their old coach, Don Nelson, even though the two were once engaged in a nasty lawsuit. Golden State is either smart enough or crazy enough to pull this deal off. You make the call.

Golden State is stocked with young players. The Wolves would probably get to pick two of the Warriors’ four developing players: , Brandan Wright, Marco Belinelli, and . Minnesota could also get some financial flexibility if they acquired Sarunas Jasikevicius and . Jasikevicius’ contract expires after the 2007-08 season, while Foyle’s 8 million dollar salary comes off the books in the summer of 2009.

I disagree with Kawakami on a minor point. I think Garnett’s contract scared the Suns off of making a deal. It wasn’t about ; The Big Ticket was, well, too big a ticket. would have been on the hook for his twenty million dollar salary plus a multi-million dollar trade kicker payment.

This is too rich a price for Phoenix. Robert Sarver, the Suns’ owner, has no interest in paying the luxury tax. He let Joe Johnson go to Atlanta. He recently dealt Kurt Thomas, a useful veteran, for cap relief. 

Look for Golden State to eventually acquire Garnett. They have the guts and roster to pull off such a difficult transaction. And, unlike Phoenix, they seem prepared to open their wallets.

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