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Breaking Down the Garnett to Boston Trade
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 6

First off let me admit that I must know next to nothing about basketball. This must be the case since the reports popping up everywhere are that the Celtics are stealing Kevin Garnett. He's a top 7 NBA player (maybe top 3 or 4) and a lock HOFer.

The deal looks to be Kevin Garnett for Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, and both of the Celts 2008 1st round picks.

My take for the T-Wolves:

This trade reminds me a lot of Kevin McHale's low post game - it wasn't always pretty, but it was effective. Garnett was leaving after the season, and this was the best value available (with the Suns not parting with Amare).

Al Jefferson is only 22 and a serious talent. There were times when he was comanding all the double teams (and not Pierce) and still scoring at will. If this guy can stay healthy and play power forward (with Mark Blount he shouldn't have to match up with bigger centers), he can really develop into a post scorer and monster ont he boards. His defense and durability leave something to be desired, and I need to see more from him before offering him a max contract he'll get (he must sign an extension by October or he'll be free after the season).

Gerald Green is 20, has hops, and has a sweet stroke with range. Like Jefferson, he should have never fallen to the Celts at pick 16. There is a lot to like about his game, but I am not sure whether he'll his athletic gifts will grow into Vince Carter or flameout like Richard Dumas.

I like Ryan Gomes and he has overachieved for a 2nd round pick. He is a smart guy who gets the most out of his ability, but I think Glen Davis and Leon Powe can fill his minutes off the bench.

I have a message for Sebastian Telfair, jail in Minnesota isn't that much different than jail in Massachussetts - and it's a good bet that is where he'll end up. Can you Oz fans see him as the real life Jackson Vehue (character played by Rick Fox)? Bassy does have a little game, but I can't stand him and I'm happy to see him go. I realize dumping Raef LaFrentz's contract on Portland made the trade today possible, but taking Telfair and losing Brandon Roy has made openly root against my team at times this year with the hope Ainge and Doc got fired.

Theo Ratliff was one of my favorite players while he was in Atlanta and Philly. He is a real pro and is a well respected vet. But more importantly his $11.1M cap number is going away after this season and the Wolves can use it to rebuild. Once the $5M guys like Jaric, Hudson, Davis, and Blount are down, they may actually be in decent shape.

I know McHale will get hammered in the media for this trade, but there is a lot talent and a huge quantity of assets here (remember this team lost 5 years of 1st rounds picks thanks to Joe Smith). I'd give the deal a B to B+ for getting real talent in the deal. If he can get a coach to teach this group how to actually play defense (as we know Doc didn't teach this to them), they could certainly be a big part of the T-Wolves rebuilding.

My take for the Celtics:

No one was more frustrated by the Ray Allen draft day trade than me, and more critical of Celtics GM Danny Ainge. Allen, Pierce, Jefferson, Perkins, and Rondo is a good starting five, but it sure looks like a team that will eek its way into the playoffs and get swept in the first round.

I have been openly making fun of Ainge, calling him the antihero, and then he comes out with a move like this. What's next, Kobe to the Knicks for Nate Robinson and a pepperoni slice of Ray's Famous Pizza? It just came out of nowhere and I am not sure whether to celebrate or wake up from a dream. This trade is just so good, it makes the Ray Allen deal look like a completely brillant predecessor.

Garnett may be the best all around player and talent in the NBA. He runs and moves like a wing player, but he's a 7 footer. He is skilled on the perimeter and in the post, and makes his teammates better. He'll allow Rondo to drive, Pierce to post up, Allen to get open for jumpers, and Perkins to bang don low. A guy like this is a once in a generation freak, and now my team has some guys I actually like to go around him.

The most important aspect to his game is his smothering defense. The Celtics haven't had a shutdown guy liek this since Dennis Johnson first came over from Phoenix. Paging Mr. Lebron James, your scoring at the end of games vs. Boston is over. Garnett is bigger, longer, faster, smarter, and lives for those matchups.

I give the trade an A- for the C's. I never thought Ainge could pull it off, especially when KG campaigned not to go to Boston during the draft.  I have to give Ainge credit. He gets an A+ if Garnett signs an extension as I have heard will happen in rumors.

In the past, lots of players for a superstar rarely work out for the team giving up multiple players (look at trades for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Lakers, Julius Erving to Sixers, Shaq to Heat, Charles Barkley to Phoenix). There are just so few really great Garnett level players, and there are so few opportunities to get one in trade.

As far as trades for my teams in my semi-recent memory, I rank this:

  1. Getting Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb
  2. Getting Pedro Martinez for Carl Pavano
  3. Getting Lee Smith for Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi
  4. Getting Corey Dillon for a 2nd round pick
  5. Garnett trade
  6. Getting Randy Moss for a 4th round pick
  7. Getting Adam Oates for Craig Janney

This team is much improved and could be the favorite in the crappy East. It feels so good to think we could from the worst team to a contender, and all beacause of this great trade.So we have no real center after Perkins and point guard after Rondo, that we have over $49M in 3 players (cap is $53M), that we have Doc Rivers as a coach. I finally have real confidence in my team since Bird was healthy (late 80's) and something resembling hope for the first time since 2002. So today is a good day! Thank you Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge.



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