Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Kobe, Garnett are on the trading market

Over this past week, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be on the available for trades. Both are superstars on teams with minimal support and are headed nowhere fast. Bryant asked to be traded last week after a meeting with team owner Jerry Buss and Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale is finally listening to calls for Garnett.
Bryant is in his late 20s and Garnett is in his early 30s, making it possible for both to contribute for about 5-7 more years apiece. Reportedly, the Lakers are actually interested in acquiring Garnett, but they do not have the pieces necessary unless they are willing to trade every decent player except for Bryant. The Celtics have also shown some interest in acquiring Garnett, but will probably not trade Paul Pierce in a deal. They would need to trade Al Jefferson, their #5 overall pick, and enough contracts, maybe Wally Szczerbiak, to acquire Garnett. Obviously the Knicks are interested, but Garnett wants to go to a winner and I don't think the Knicks would even contend for the Eastern Conference title even with Garnett. Garnett could also go to the Bulls, but I don't think GM John Paxson will pull the trigger on any deal if he needs to give up more than one of the following players: Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, or Luol Deng.
As for Bryant, He could go to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion and maybe another player or a draft pick, but GM Mitch Kupchak is unlikely to trade him to their division rivals. This would put the Suns over the top with more offense and more defense in addition to a great closer and Steve Nash as his point guard. Reports also say that he could go to the Bulls or Knicks. Another intriguing possibility is to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas, who will opt out of his contract after next year.

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