Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Unspeakable Things, Unspoken

It's not often that I get to title a post with a Toni Morrison reference, nor is it often that I get to lead with a hilarious photo of two men who famously despise each other trying to pretend that they don't. But these indeed are special times.

So we in these parts think it's about time to weigh in on this whole Kevin Garnett thing, since apparently this one's got some legs to it. The hot rumor--reported numerous places, notably Monday by Chad Ford and then followed up by the Herald--has the C's sending Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and the fifth pick in the draft to the T-Wolves for the Big Ticket himself. Now, let's all exhale.

Needless to say, this would be a huge trade in every sense of the word. The C's would essentially be sending five players to Minnesota in order to get Garnett, and make no mistake, this deal would be nothing short of a massive event for both franchises. For Boston, you're making an incredibly aggressive statement that you are truly looking to win now. For Minnesota, you're essentially doing exactly the opposite: after making this trade, the T-Wolves start to suspiciously resemble last year's Celtics, and possibly even worse, since they even lack a Paul Pierce.

For the C's, this is a huge amount to give up. Granted, Telfair is basically a ghost these days, and the only reason we have Theo Ratliff is for a situation like this. One could even make the case that as it stands right now, Gerald Green is at best highly questionable to the future of this team. Giving up Big Al is huge, though, as is giving up all access to the first round of this year's draft. Make no mistake: losing both Al and the number five is a costly bargain indeed.

That said, well, it's Kevin Garnett. Quite honestly, if the C's make this deal as it's currently constructed I see no reason they won't win the Atlantic Division next year. If Rajon Rondo has a big second year and Tony Allen can come back in decent shape I even think they could go deep into the playoffs. Kevin Garnett in the Eastern Conference will be extraordinary, and about this there's just no question. Sure, he's 31, but he's never missed more than six games in a season and you have to figure that moving to the East--where Duncan and Yao suddenly becomes Eddy Curry and Samuel Dalembert--could potentially add several years to his career. Garnett's been neglected the past few years because he's been on terrible teams, but he's absolutely still one of the best players in the NBA (last year he quietly led the league in rebounding). He is an utterly unique talent and will transform the team for the better.

But it's a lot to give up. I'm kind of tired tonight so we'll have to return to this discussion in the coming days... there's a lot to talk about. For me the hardest part is losing both Al and the pick... that could potentially really, really sting a few years down the road, when Pierce and Garnett are pushing 35 and Al Jefferson and Corey Brewer are pushing the Wolves toward the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. All of that said, well, we've been clamoring in this space for a while that something drastic needs to happen, and it's hard to back off that claim now, not with a former MVP and legitimate superstar possibly looming on the horizon. Sit tight.

Also, a hearty welcome to newest Headband author/commenter Nate, who is making his triumphant return from a hideous knee injury incurred while trying to dunk a ball that had been whistled dead a good five seconds earlier.


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