Posted: Wednesday December 6, 2006 11:26AM; Updated: Thursday December 7, 2006 2:33PM
Los Angeles Lakers
They've been teammates in the All-Star Game, but how about Kobe Bryant (left) and Kevin Garnett together with the Lakers?
Tim Defrisco/NBAE via Getty Images
For all his marvelous talents, Garnett is not the player coaches have on their lists of guys they want taking the last shot. He wouldn't have to with the Lakers; there's a certain No. 24 already taking care of that. Garnett would have no trouble finding room in the Lakers' locker room for his ego because he will let Kobe have the attention; he only wants the ring. He very well could get it there, too.
Despite recent setbacks, the progress of Andrew Bynum has made him a valuable commodity and a potential centerpiece to any Garnett package. The Lakers could also throw in a few expiring contracts. Any hesitation on the part of Minnesota GM Kevin McHale might be trading his star to a team within his own conference.
SI.com's trade: Garnett ($21 million), Madsen ($2.1 million) and Wright ($664,000) for Bynum ($2 million), Lamar Odom ($12.3 million), Chris Mihm ($4.2 million), Aaron McKie ($2.5 million) and a future first-round pick.
Larry Bird was arguably the most competitive player of his era, which makes it easy to assume that he would love to acquire the most competitive player in the game today. Indiana has one thing others teams can't offer: a superstar to give up in return.
The Jermaine O'Neal era seems to have run its course in Indiana and the Pacers were entertaining offers for him last summer. O'Neal is two years younger than Garnett and would have to be packaged with one of Indiana's young talents to make the deal enticing enough for Minnesota. The question is, How sweet can the Pacers make it without sacrificing so much that with Garnett they turn into the East's version of the Timberwolves?
SI.com's trade: Garnett ($21 million) and two future second-round picks for O'Neal ($18.1 million) and Danny Granger ($1.4 million).
New Jersey Nets
Here's the truth about Richard Jefferson: He absolutely, positively does not want to leave New Jersey. Maybe he did at one point, but as he has continued to mature, Jefferson has embraced the idea of playing for one franchise for his whole career and wants that team to be the Nets (wherever they play).
That said, Jefferson is New Jersey's most valuable bargaining chip. Acquiring Garnett would give the Nets exactly what they have been missing: a rebounding/shot-blocking presence to play alongside Nenad Krstic. Garnett's arrival would spark a fire under Vince Carter and invigorate Jason Kidd.
Minnesota would get a rising star in Jefferson who is eager for a chance to play a more prominent role and who is locked into a long-term contract at reasonable money. The Timberwolves could also get the promising Mile Ilic, whom Nets coach Lawrence Frank says is a season or two away from contributing.
SI.com's trade: Garnett ($21 million), Madsen ($2.1 million) and Wright ($664,000) for Jefferson ($11.2 million), Jason Collins ($5.8 million), Jeff McInnis ($3.6 million), Ilic ($800,000) and two future first-round picks.