Lakers get: Kevin Garnett
Pacers get: Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum
Celtics get: Jermaine O'Neal
T'Wolves get: No. 5 pick in Thursday's draft (Celtics), Al Jefferson
First of all, this trade would never happen as you see it typed, because there are no expiring contracts in the mix here, and, by rule, there always has to be one expiring contract in a trade (ok, not really but it seems like it, and there's reason that teams do it-- primarily because it clears a boatload of cap room the following season). Also, I agree with the point that Chad Ford made, that there is no way that the Celtics would part with Al Jefferson to get O'Neal, considering that Jefferson could very well put up better numbers than O'Neal this upcoming season. So, that takes the Celtics out, which pretty much collapses the whole trade since that number 5 pick is kind of the lynch pin.
But, we are in the dog days of summer, so let's pretend that this trade could go through. Why would the Lakers do it? Kobe Bryant is doing his best Veruca Salt (I want help NOW!). This is the same guy who ran Shaq out of town, who at one point had to have a conversation with Jerry Buss saying that he could carry this team, that he wanted to be the man. What have we learned? Kobe cannot be the man, he can't. People want to talk about how Kobe has no help? Well, there was a guy by the name of Lebron James who has had ZERO help who led his team to the NBA Finals. I don't care if it was in the Eastern Conference, if you swap Lebron and Kobe, Lebron goes further in the West with the Lakers than Kobe does with the Cavs. Period, and I'll stand on that. Kobe is the NBA's Terrell Owens, with all necessary apologies to TO, who has never faced a rape charge. Kobe being TO is a whole other article in itself, but just take a gander at the two and tell me there aren't similarities.
So, while Garnett clearly needs a new home, so does Kobe. There needs to be a certain level of accountability that the Lakers hold Kobe to: he forced his team to trade one of the top 5 centers of all time on the promise that he could deliver the goods without him. Since then? Shaq has won a ring, and Kobe hasn't gotten out of a series in the West. Hey, I just had a great idea!
Trade Kobe Bryant for Kevin Garnett.
Now, now before you call me a genius, let me give you more reasons to think so:
1. The money works so this isn't just a pie in the sky deal. KG makes 21 Mil a year for the next three years, Kobe 17 mil for the next 4.
2. It works for LA, because you get a low post giant who can help young guys like Bynum and Kwame Brown develop. Plus, you get a guy who is a proven teammate that will let Lamar Odom get his shots and-- get this-- even CREATE some for him! This team would be a little green in the back court, but with the dearth of players you have in the front court, you could easily make a trade for someone with players like Luke Walton, Vald Radmanovic, and Chris Mihm suddenly extremely expendable.
3. It works for Minnesota, because if there's one kind of teammate that can deal with Kobe Bryant, it's young, talented players: ones that will allow him to run the show, and attempt to benefit from every opportunity they can get to prove to him their worth. Randy Foye is a good young player, not to mention the talent that they will bring in the draft on Thursday. Minnesota is thin in the front court, but so what? Kobe is used to dealing with that.
4. It shuts everyone up, Kobe gets a fresh start to attempt to be "the man" in a situation comparable to the one he is in now, and Jerry Buss will finally get a superstar who just wants to win, and will do anything to do so.
Will it happen? Probably not. But, it makes more sense than you think, and personally, I would love to see Kobe get another shot, because if there's anyone who knows how much a supporting cast means to a superstar, it's Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale.