With the basketball part of my brain switched off yesterday, it wasn’t until this morning that I caught the Sporting News report that the Los Angeles Clippers were interested in a trade for Kevin Garnett. The initial reaction, as someone who works 50 yards from Staples Center and has long held a fascination with KG, was, of course, “OH MY GOD, DO THAT.” With some time to consider it, the basketball fan in me has pretty much come to agree.
The report claims that talks had already taken place between the teams, which ESPN’s Chris Broussard has reported is not the case. Supposedly, there are those with the Clippers who are worried about the two remaining years on KG’s deal after this season ends.
That seems like a legitimate concern. By the time this contract runs out, Garnett will be 39 years old, and it’s fair to say that this season has been his worst in the past 15 years. With Chris Paul’s new contract on the horizon and Blake Griffin’s kicking in next season, adding more than $11.5 million of Kevin Garnett in 2014 comes with its risks.
Let’s not mince words here — the Lakers are boring. Sure, they’re a flaming train wreck from which we can’t avert our eyes, but their actual on-court product (and even some of the drama off it) is far from enjoyable, in the traditional sense. If you stripped away the star power and franchise mystique, all you’d be left with is a basketball team that’s losing far more than it wins, and there’s not much fun about that. (Again, in the traditional sense.)
But given there isn’t any way to not talk about the Lakers, I went to the ESPN Trade Machine (at least in part) and tried to figure out a deal that, in an alternate reality, would make the team more palatable. The trade I came up with is both realistic (based on some real rumors I’ve heard/read and players’ fair market value in mind) and totally effing bananas (five-team, 15-player trades and unicorns tend have a lot in common). I’d still like to think at least some parts dabble in the vicinity of the plausible.
In the end, I came up with a Lakers team (as well as a Cleveland one) that I would actually enjoy watching on a nightly basis. Of course, it’s built along the lines of my own personal views — fit over star power and great offense over any type of defense — but I think it would make the struggling L.A. team, as well as a couple of the others involved, more interesting.
Either way, there’s enough in there to get people yelling at each other (or at me), which is easily the best part of fake trades anyway. So here ya go: