The Rumor: Garnett to the Celtics for Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, the #5 pick and cap fodder.
The Rundown: If the T-wolves can get this, I say jump on it. I’d be surprised if Boston was willing to do this deal without getting Minnesota’s pick in return, but I’ve seen the rumor both ways. Dealing Garnett means a re-build, and I doubt they’d get much more than this. They get a PF to replace Garnett who will be around longer and is cheaper in Jefferson, and for that downgrade they also get a young SF with a big future in Green and an excellent pick in a great draft. Randy Foye, Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, the #5 pick (Asian Darko?) and the #7 pick (Mike Conley or Acie Law?) is an awfully nice group to build around. I’d be more scared of them after this deal than I would be now.
As for the Celtics, a Paul Pierce – Kevin Garnett paring probably gets them back to playoff level; especially if Rajon Rondo can develop a little. I wouldn’t make this deal if I were Boston — this writer says they should deal Pierce and commit to a rebuild — but if you have a chance to get Garnett I suppose you can’t blame them too much. I don’t believe Garnett is getting dealt this offseason (I’m more inclined to think they’ll move him at the trading deadline, following another terrible first half) anyway, but it’s fun to speculate about.
The Rumor: Artest to the Miami Heat for Udonis Haslem, Jason Williams and expiring contracts.
The Rundown: Haslem? Are you kidding me? He’s a backup big man who rebounds and plays a little D, and that’s it. No way this rumor has any legs. If I’m Sacto, I try to deal both Bibby and Artest this offseason, hire Dwayne Casey as my coach, and commit to a rebuild around Kevin Martin, the #10 pick, and whatever you get for those two stars.
Yi Jianlian (aka “Asian Darko”)
The Rumor: Boston, Chicago, Golden State, and Minnesota are all trying to get him.
The Rundown: Kudos to my co-author for coining this nickname. Along with Mike Conley, probably the biggest question mark in the draft. Looking at the top-ten in the draft, it’s conceivable that Jianlian could go as high as #3, or more likely, at #5, #7, or #9. The big question seems to be if Boston deals the #5 pick – and all signs indicate that they are shopping it, hard – will it be to a team looking to move up to grab Yi or Conley?
Around The League
- I refuse to believe that Kobe Bryant is going anywhere.
- Peter Vesey is reporting that Rashard Lewis’ agent may have screwed up the paperwork to void the last two years of his deal and may have jeopardized his status as a free agent. I haven’t seen this validated anywhere, and Vesey is one of the worst “make shit up” writers out there, so take it with a grain of salt but file it away.
- As for Steve Blake, I’m hearing rumblings about Denver and Cleveland both being interested. I don’t quite see how Portland fits in unless they deal Jarrett Jack which isn’t out of the realm of possibilities; but do you really think a guy like Blake — who’s been a fringe NBA player in the past — would really hold off on signing a long-term guaranteed deal with another club on the chance that Portland might trade Jack?
- Another Blazer related note — with Kevin Pritchard screaming about how impressed he was by Brandon Roy saying last year “I put the team first”, doesn’t that give a big flag to both Durant and Oden to say that, and doesn’t it also put into question the genuinity of such a statement? Not to get all Peter King on you, but Hey KP — how about playing it a little closer to vest what you’d like to see?
- The Sonics appear to be deciding between Dwayne Casey and PJ Carlesimo for their coaching vacancy.
Finally, Mark Bryant is interviewing with the Phoenix Suns for an assistant coach position. Why do I bring this up? Because I have a special place in my heart for Mark Bryant.
It was the summer of 1988, and I was a nine-year old kid participating in a summer basketball camp at one of the Portland suburban high schools. During the “end-of-day speech” that the coach would give, they had a contest each day where the first person to raise their hand and answer a question correctly won a prize. That day’s question? “Who did the Blazers pick with their first round draft choice this year?”. My hand shot up first, I got called on, and correctly answered “Mark Bryant!”. (#21 pick out of Seton Hall). The prize: an $80 gift certificate to the Nike Employee Store. Got me a new pair of the Robinson Pumps and couldn’t have been happier. Thank you, Mark Bryant, and good luck getting that assistant job.