You are well aware. Kevin Garnett is back. While the trade has not yet been reported by the Wolves in official capacity, the afternoon and morning have brought about a ton of chatter and debate on whether this is good move or a bad one. Trade deadline day is always a blast, and results in thousands of hours of lost professional productivity. Today was easily one of the most active ever.
The way I see it, there are two ways to approach this, and both have been speaking loudly today and have caused this move to remain highly polarizing. The rational response will accurately state something resembling the following:
-The Wolves, once again, poorly managed their trade assets, sold low on Thad Young, wasted a potentially valuable Miami Heat pick, and continue to make moves that winning organizations simply do not make.
-Kevin Garnett, while a vocal leader, is well known as a hyper-competitor and his presence may not, in reality, be a great one to have around Wiggins, LaVine and the rest of the young Millennials on the team. His tenure here ended poorly as he was not the leader may romanticize him to be in his final two seasons.
-The Country Club is back together and bigger and better than it ever was. This is nauseating and obnoxious in every way, and the team needs to move forward and think outside the box.
-Garnett has way too much milage to reasonably expect him to contribute on the court. Why waste roster spots and cap money to re-sign a player who is going to potentially retire here at 41?
-If you are signing him to an extension, why not wait until the offseason to bring him back so you can continue the youth movement and maximize your lotto balls for the future?
Then there is the IRRational side of things, which if you have been a fan of this team for some time, you should probably be able to relate to in some capacity:
-Garnett is responsible for pretty much every ounce of tangible success this franchise has ever had.
-Garnett will sell tickets and Target Center will at least have slightly more energy than the depressing college library atmosphere of November through February.
-Sports are fun and this is fun and anything in the future doesn’t matter. Who cares if they obviously don’t have any sort of plan!
and so on.
I guess, in the end, I really see both sides. Look, from a basketball and a team-building perspective as part of a long-term rebuilding plan, there is no other adjective you can use to describe this (and the recent Payne trade) other than “atrocious.” Everything “Team Rational” says is absolutely correct. The result of the Thad Young tangent has been a horrendous use of tradable assets as this team hopefully builds towards some level of long-term success. Additionally, the veteran leadership bit tends to be highly overblown. Isn’t that why you have coaches? Isn’t that why you brought in Thad in the first place? Secondly, and get ready for the “flexibility” comments from Flip, ultimately the money that the Wolves gain by trading Thad will not yield anything more than a $5 million player at most, unless 1) Garnett signs for the minimum or, 2) further moves are made. And lastly, say Garnett unlocks Bennett super-powers and the Wolves start winning games and rise in the standings; the chance to add a second superstar in this draft will diminish rapidly. These are all unquestionably accurate points and a very valid reason to dislike the move.
But, BUT. If you are a long-term Wolves fan, hopefully you can find it in you to enjoy it as best as you can. The Miami pick isn’t coming back through that door. Sometimes it isn’t worth the mental energy to micro-scrutinize every move as a major, earth-shattering development that will make or break whether or not this team will ever be successful. Accept the following reality: a Glen Taylor and Flip Saunders-run organization is only going to succeed by virtue of luck and circumstance. There is not, nor will there ever be, a plan that resembles what OKC, Philadelphia, or Dallas lay out and execute. I know armchair GMing is a fun past-time, but this team will never (even after Taylor, when Flip and KG take over) operate like the best organizations in the league do. Just accept it. Hopefully it brings back a few memories. Maybe. MAYBE, Garnett can inject some energy into a squad that was nothing short of lethargic with Rubio sitting. Isn’t there a small part of you that loves the idea of KG playing his final game at Target Center as a Wolf? These things are all valid takes as well, and even the strongest cynic should be able to find a tiny soft spot to enjoy the return of KG.
Ultimately, the idea of KG coming back has always appealed to me a bit, but maybe not in this way. While I hope the type of deals Flip has made recently, including the one that netted him Garnett, aren’t what we see over the course of his probably decade or more reign, I think the softy in me can find some merits in bringing back some memories of the only real bright spot to ever illuminate from the, ironically coffin-shaped, Target Center arena.