Wednesday, May 23, 2007

the number seven

The time has come to trade Kevin Garnett.

If the T-Wolves had received the #1 or #2 pick in the 2007 draft, they would need to keep KG. With either Oden or Durant, the Wolves would be back in the playoffs in '08 and possibly competing for a championship in a year or two.

But that didn't happen. And now we have to ask ourselves: can the Timberwolves win a championship in the next five years?

I don't think so. Here's what would have to happen for the Wolves to compete for a title soon:

1. Kevin Garnett needs to remain dominant (he's now 31).
2. Randy Foye or Rashad McCants must develop into very good guards.
3. Somebody must be found to play point guard.
4. Craig Smith must develop into a strong post presence, offensively and defensively.
5. The Wolves must draft an immediate impact post player at #7.
6. Randy Wittman must prove to be a competent coach.

Can all of those things happen? Sure. They could. But it's not that likely. And since the Wolves have traded away two first-round draft picks and have a pretty lousy cap situation, there really aren't great opportunities to improve in any other way.

If the Timberwolves cannot reasonably compete for a championship within three years, they should trade their one prize, KG, now while they can. They should trade him for talented young players and/or first-round draft picks. There is no reason to keep KG on the team if it is not competing for a title; they'd be better served moving him and thinking long-term.

But I love Garnett, and I'm afraid I'm not ready to give up on the team. Perhaps there is a better option. They could keep KG on the roster and draft a player they believe will be an immediate impact post player. If, through the first half of the season, Foye or McCants is playing very well, Craig Smith is a starter making good contributions, pick #7 is surprising people with incredible performance, and the T-Wolves are winning and looking toward a pretty sure playoff appearance, then they should keep KG. If none of those things are happening and the Wolves are struggling (even if they're just struggling toward an 8 seed), the Wolves should try to trade Garnett for picks and young players.

All I really want out of my sports fan life is to see the Vikings or the Timberwolves win a championship. That's all that matters. If the Timberwolves cannot win a championship in the next five years with Kevin Garnett, they should trade him while they can so that hopefully someday they can win a championship without him.

Of course, if KG is traded, then the Wolves will need to hire a competent GM to actually try and build a championship squad; we've had more than enough evidence that Kevin McHale is not competent.


  1. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Your last sentence sums it up. Do you really trust McFail to trade KG and receive anything of value for him? Foye is going to be a damned good PG in this League, McCants should improve next season after having the summer to fully get over his surgery. Smith is going to be a nice role player for us too. That leaves Ricky, Blount, James, T-Hud, Jaric, etc... as dead weight that needs to go.

    With a little luck, perhaps Brandan Wright or Horford will fall to us and give us the big, interior presence this team has always needed. A talented SF like Julian Wright or Cory Brewer would be a nice addition too.

    Trading KG would be a big mistake, IMHO. You never get value for players like him and without him I'm afraid this franchise would quickly become the Atlanta Hawks of the Western Conference. We'll certainly get a talented player in the draft, and if we can work the FA market to pick up a guy like Maggette or Richard Jefferson, we'll have a good chance to get back in the playoff hunt.

    Building around KG is still the only option we have.

  2. It's sad that we need someone that is competent at PG when we have about 5 of them on our team.