While surfing the net, I stumbled upon an article on SI.com by Chris Mannix touting several trades that the Timberwolves could make to “Free KG”. It was easily the second-worst sports reporting I’ve seen in months. (The honor of “worst” goes, without question, to Scoop Jackson’s blatant plagiarizing of YAYsports’ “Orange Roundie”.)
Kevin Garnett can’t believe how badly undervalued he is in these trades. [image2]
[ad2] First off, Kevin Garnett doesn’t need anyone’s pity. Nor does he need a group of bleeding hearts to petition for his freedom. He’s an NBA player making over 20 million dollars a year, not Nelson Mandela. I honestly think that all the writers and media members need to cease and desist from beating this tired angle into the ground. When Kevin Garnett wins a championship, it will be because he earned it, not because everyone decided that they’d throw him the world’s largets pity party. And before you call me a hypocrite, please note that every time I’ve proposed a KG trade, the sole intention behind the move was to better the Timberwolves not ease Garnett’s path to a ring.
As if a rehashed angle wasn’t bad enough, Mannix proposed four of the worst trade scenarios I’ve ever seen. Every one is a straight-up trade without a third team involved. That’s never going to happen. Teams just don’t throw around over 20 million in salaries like that. Including a third, fourth, or even fifth team is going to help both sides get a much sweeter deal. And in addition, most of these trades were predicated on the assumption that the Wolves are seeking cap relief in the form of expiring deals. Newsflash: The Wolves are already 13 million over the cap, so trading Garnett purely for expiring deals would only put them under by 7 million. That’s not enough to lure a top free agent, and when you add in the annual raises that the remaining Wolves would receive, that number shrinks even more. Also, the fact that there isn’t a single free agent on the market in 2007 you’d want to build a franchise around makes these trades even more laughable.
Here’s a summary of the deals. I’m not listing every player involved, just the general concepts.
Minnesota Trades: Kevin Garnett, a 2008 first-round pick, and fillers
Chicago Trades: Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas, Deng or Nocioni, P.J. Brown, and the Knicks 2007 first rounder
Analysis: This trade is the only one even near the relm of plausability. However, the Bulls would have to move to the back of the line as the earliest they could ever recieve a 1st round pick from the Wolves would be in 2011. The Clippers and Celtics already have dibs on the Wolves’ picks. You would think a professional writer for a major publication would research these things…
Minnesota Trades: Kevin Garnett and fillers
Los Angeles Lakers Trade: Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, expiring contracts, future 1st round pick
Analysis: Why??? Andrew Bynum has given us no indication that he will be anything more than a solid player in this league. When he consistenly shows flashes of Shaq, then we’ll start to talk. Otherwise, Odom isn’t even in the same stratosphere as KG. Talk about some California dreaming…
Minnesota Trades: Kevin Garnett and two second-rounders
Indiana Trades: Jermain O’Neal and Danny Granger
Analysis: Why on earth would you trade away KG for KG-lite?
Minnesota Trades: Kevin Garnet and fillers
New Jersey Trades: Richard Jefferson, two first-rounders, and fillers
Analysis: Why on earth would the Wolves trade a Top 5 talent for a player with a fat contract that you could never build a contender around? At least he got the concept of draft picks down.
Here’s a tip for Chris Mannix: Before you suggest that the Timberwolves trade their heart and soul away, why don’t you come up with a plausible scenario featuring young players and draft picks, not ones that involve flawed and clearly inferior veterans and the Wolves giving up picks.
Here’s a tip for SI.com: Email me with the location to send my resume’. I work for cheap and come packaged with fresh angles and trade scenarios that might actually work.
For the rest of you: Here’s a link to the article so you can see for yourselves.
Normally, I’d just let a bad article like this go and forget about it. But this piece was part of a major sports publication and entirely insulting to Kevin Garnett. Mannix basically treated him like an item on the Wendy’s dollar menu, not one of the NBA’s all-time greats and the cornerstone of the Timberwolves franchise. I had to speak up and say my piece for The Big Ticket. If I can’t at least do that, then what’s the point of having a Wolves blog?