Will Garnett Be Traded?

Despite comments from Minnesota Timberwolves General Manager Kevin McHale that he isn’t actively looking to trade Kevin Garnett, reports out of Boston say that McHale has discussed the superstar in casual trade talks with Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge. An official proposal is far from the next step, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the Timberwolves are, for the first time, open to the possibility of trading their franchise power forward.

The rumored proposal involves Boston sending Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff and the #5 pick in this year’s draft to Minnesota for Garnett. Ratliff could be substituted by Wally Szczerbiak, who has a similar expiring contract and who used to play for the team.

One of the major risks for the Celtics is that Garnett can become a free agent after next summer, by opting out of his contract that will pay him a guaranteed $23 million in 2008-09. Nevertheless, the prospect of teaming Kevin Garnett with Paul Pierce may be too much to ignore for Ainge, especially considering how weak the Eastern Conference has become. With Garnett’s arrival in Boston, the Celtics would catapult to the top of the conference along with the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons.

If the trade were to occur, Minnesota would become a very young team, very quickly. With a number of lottery picks already on the roster, Minnesota would add one of the up-and-coming big men in the league in Al Jefferson, as well as having the #5 and #7 picks in this year’s draft, one of the deepest in years. With the two picks, Minnesota could be looking at a starting lineup of Al Jefferson, Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Gerald Green and Randy Foye, with Ricky Davis, Craig Smith and Juwon Howard coming off the bench. It may not the best team in the Western Conference, but certainly one that will be able to compete night in and night out.

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