The AP is reporting the deal for Kevin Garnett as being done
, though not official. The deal is apparently KG for Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, possibly Ryan Gomes (though only if you ask Bulpett
), and two first-rounders (one is lottery-protected). It could be less, once announced, but let's assume the biggest bounty is what's actually headed out of town.
After taking the time to wrap my head around it, this is an absolute no-brainer trade. A masterstroke. It's not like the C's traded for a stiff like Chris Webber, or even a question mark like Allen Iverson. It's Kevin Garnett
. How does anybody not
make this trade?
I hate to see Jefferson, Gomes and Green leave town. And you hate to see the C's toss in two picks. But nobody on the outbound side of the deal will ever
be Kevin Garnett. Jefferson's awesome, a sure-fire 20 + 10 guy going forward, but he's not in the same class. Gomes is headed to free agency after this season anyway. Green is more likely to be the next Ricky Davis than the next Rip Hamilton. One of the first-rounders is lottery-protected. It's a ton
of talent, but it's spread out.
So while the Timberwolves are receiving an Instant Roster pill (just add Gatorade), the Celtics had a chance to add a first-ballot Hall of Famer. This isn't the NFL, where the equivalent package would have crippled the team receiving KG. It's the NBA. You NEED that one guy, or you're nothing. The Celtics are no longer nothing. That's the bottom line.
Other assorted thoughts: ROSTER CONSEQUENCES
The cupboard is bare. Assuming that Gomes is indeed gone, Kendrick Perkins would be the only legit big other than KG, and even that pushes the definition of "legit" to its boundaries. Glen "Fat Baby" Davis becomes #2 on the depth chart at both the 4 and the 5... unless he falters, giving way to Leon Powe and... wait for it... Veal Scalabrine. Good lord. They need someone besides KG to rebound the ball.
Then there's the backcourt, featuring the brilliant but undercooked Rajon Rondo and second-round project Gabe Pruitt. In a word, ugh
. The PG position becomes that much easier with Allen and KG around, but that's still a mess that could hold the team back. Is Rondo truly ready for not just starting duties but starting playoff
With no options remaining in free agency (Derek Fisher would have been perfect
) they need to do something to land a competent backup PG as insurance against Rondo.
But despite those glaring holes, the continued employment of Donyell Marshall, Drew Gooden and Eric Snow in Cleveland proves that finding a workable supporting cast is the easy part. The C's just did the hard part. CONSPIRACY THEORISTS UNITE
As was discussed at the Fanhouse
, this is the ONLY thing that could have distracted us from the Tim Donaghy situation. Mission accomplished! I wouldn't put it past David Stern to approach both Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale, significant offer of some kind in hand, and ask that they sit down and make a fair deal happen.
be coincidence that this trade happened in the wake of the ref scandal. But is a coincidence really that likely? The most image-conscious (and most effective) commissioner in sports was watching a PR apocalypse unfold. You can say
he wasn't behind this all you want, but I'm not hearing it. ADVENTURES IN UTTER BULLSHIT
The talk of the future being mortgaged in exchange for a brief window of opportunity has been exaggerated so greatly that I'm embarrassed for the people who keep bringing it up.
My reaction, in two words: COME ON!
It's just a knee-jerk reaction to an imperfect scenario. Garnett is 31. Ray Allen is 32. They're nowhere near
washed-up, and won't be for another few years. Ankle surgery? OMG NOBODY RECOVERS FROM ANKLE SURGERY
. (Note how the injury-recovery addicts don't cite Jefferson's inability to stay healthy.) Aging superstar? OMG NO SUPERSTAR HAS VALUE AFTER AGE 31
Ask Shaq about life after 31. Or do you believe his role in the 2006 championship, at age 34, was due to his freakish adherence to a healthy diet and physical conditioning?
What about Duncan? He's 31 now. Did he not just win another championship? Anyone think he's
cooked? Didn't think so. Again, if the Celtics had traded for him
instead of KG, would ANY of these stories be flying around? Of course not.
Disaster is not the likeliest scenario... it's just more likely than it would be otherwise. It affects the odds of success, but it doesn't make the negative side any more real. The smart money is still on the Celtics contending in the East. The old-age/washed-up angle makes for an engaging storyline, but it's not based in reality on any level. DANNY AINGE MADE OUTTA ONE HUNNA PERCENT RAT ASSSSSS
It's my belief that the anti-trade crowd thinks the trade is stupid because they think Ainge is stupid. In other words, if a more trusted GM had made the same move (say, Jerry West) then these folks wouldn't have the same reaction. If the enormous bounty of outbound players and picks is questionable, the fact that it was Ainge's idea means it's gotta be dumb, right?
I would point out that Ainge has landed KG for less than the pre-draft offer. In fact, Ainge's refusal to send the #5 to Minnesota is what led to both Allen and
KG arriving. Otherwise, it would have been one or the other, which would not have worked out quite so well. He held out and got a better deal
. That's not stupid.
I've had my ups and downs with Ainge, but he has played this offseason beautifully. He's given away a lot, but that was always the plan. It was time to make the move. And it's one hell of a move. ONE FINAL MESSAGE FOR THE HATERS
Everyone who laughed at the Allen trade? Get ready to eat a big bag of mesquite BBQ dicks, bitches. Abbondanza! Still laughing? By all means, continue. Laugh it up. You'll have plenty of chances to guffaw and chortle when you see them a dozen times on national fucking television this season.