Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pistons would be unbeatable with KG

There has been a trade rumor circulating for some time now involving Kevin Garnett and the Detroit Pistons. The trade would send KG to the Pistons for Rasheed Wallace and Darko Milicic. Both the Pistons and the Timberwolves deny the trade rumors. The T-wolves recently stated that they would not trade KG under any circumstances. Joe Dumars also stated that he hadn’t discussed that trade with Minnesota. It’s safe to say that this trade won’t happen.

However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t talk about the trade. As much as both teams deny having interest in the trade, there’s no question in my mind that this trade would help both teams get to where they want to go. The T-wolves don’t have enough talent around KG to win the NBA title. Kevin McHale ruined the team by firing Flip Saunders and getting rid of Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell. Minnesota would easily be the second best team in the West this season with a decent shot at reaching the finals had McHale not sabotaged the franchise. Instead, the T-wolves need to build for the future and get something in exchange for KG. By trading KG, the T-wolves would probably go in the tank for the rest of the season and secure a lottery pick for the NBA draft. The T-wolves would be getting Rasheed Wallace, Darko Milicic and what should amount to a lottery pick for KG. The Pistons would likely have to throw in another player (possibly Dale Davis) to make the money work.

It’s obvious to me that the T-wolves would be doing a lot for the future of Minnesota basketball by making this trade. The Pistons side of the deal might seem unnecessary but a little perspective might shed some light on why the Pistons would be foolish to pass up on this trade if the offer ever came to fruition. The Pistons are playing superb basketball right now. Rasheed Wallace is a very good player. He’s unselfish and can play any style of ball on both ends of the court. However, there is no doubt that Kevin Garnett is a better basketball player. Rasheed Wallace is to Kevin Garnett as Paul Pierce is to Michael Jordan. Pierce is a very good player but he’s just not in the same league as MJ. The same can be said for comparing Rasheed to KG. The only thing that ‘Sheed can do better than KG is shoot the three. KG offsets that disadvantage by being a superior mid-range shooter. KG is also better in the post and a slightly better defender as well. So far, I’ve just talked about the skill advantages that KG has over Rasheed. One aspect that nobody seems to talk about is the fact that KG is two years younger. That alone should make this trade a no-brainer. Two years is a long time in the NBA. The Pistons would be an unstoppable force with KG in the lineup. As good as the Pistons are with Rasheed, they would be considerably better with KG and for a longer period of time.

I don’t mean to discount the importance of Darko. The Pistons took Darko over Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Both, and Kurt Hinrich. It would be nice if that pick realized its value. I think Darko could become a very good player. He has skill for a 20 year old big man. The thing about the NBA is that you have to give to get (unless you can work Danny Ainge into the deal). Giving up Darko would be hard but the addition of KG to the Pistons lineup would put the Pistons the odds on favorite to win the NBA title. There isn’t a team in the league that could compete with the Pistons with KG.

There is a lot made of chemistry in the NBA. Joe Dumars likes the Pistons team chemistry and doesn’t want to damage it in any way. I can understand that. Once you get chemistry, you want to bottle it up and never let it go. However, it’s not like the Pistons are perfect. They lost in the NBA finals last year and they came within a Dwyane Wade rib cage of losing to the Heat in the Conference Finals. Even when they won the NBA championship two years ago, they barely got by the Nets in the second round. This isn’t a team that’s good enough to waltz through the playoffs. This team can be improved and all avenues of improvement should be explored. I don’t envy Joe D’s position because he would take the blame if something went wrong but KG is not your everyday player. If you took a poll of NBA players and asked who the best player in the league was, you would probably get 50% to say Tim Duncan and 50% to say KG. He is on a different level than Wallace. I love what Sheed has brought to the team and it would be sad to see him go. But, we have to be realistic here. If you only have to give up one good player to get KG, you have to do it every time. The Pistons would be crazy not to. Thankfully, the Pistons are one of the elite teams in the NBA and will be contenders with or without a trade. Joe D has assembled a brilliant group of basketball players which I am extremely grateful for. I just wanted to put my two cents in that should the opportunity to acquire KG arise and the Pistons only have to give up one impact player, you have to pull the trigger.


Anonymous said...

Hey I am Matt Starr's cousin Kevin. I saw this article and I have been thinking about the Pistons now that UM's season is finally out of it's misery. As for the Pistons, the style is even better now that Larry and his ego is gone. They can really crank it up when the need to. I have been searching for some trade rumors about them. I think that even with things going as well as
they are, this is the year to make one extra move to get a guy who can
ignite the bench scoring (ala vinny Johnson or Jame Edwards) McDyse looks old and Evans, Hunter, Darko etc. just don't have the spark and none of them are good shooters. The only problem they have as a team are those 2 minute offensive dry spells where Sheed is chucking turnarounds and they are running plays for Prince and Wallace. I keep thinking that a guy like Jalen Rose or ??
would put them over the top. I have the feeling they will just coast for the season and then pick up a marginal old guy at the deadline (Chucky Atkins) like the
Wings did for years. I know you don't want to mess with things but I have to figure they could eat a contract on a scoring role player who is dying for a Ring.

Any thoughts?

Jake said...

Hey Kevin, it's good to hear from you.

First, let me say nobody on this planet was happier than me when Larry was shown the door. I don't wish misery on any decent person so I'm not hoping anything bad happens to Larry. However, he single handily held the Pistons back. Good riddance to Larry the coach.

I agree with you about the Pistons adding another player. There are a few players that the Pistons could look at to add a bench presence. They could try to make a big splash by looking at Spree, Jalen Rose, Artest, Al Harrington, or someone else like that. The Pistons won't be going after any of those guys needless to say. Also, with Saunders liking the recent Prince experiment at back-up point guard, I think the need for a competent player behind Chauncey subsides a bit. This might surprise you, but I think it would be great if the Pistons brought back the Chuck-wagon (Atkins). Anyone who can make a three would be a godsend. My feeling is that there will be no changes. This team is good enough to win the championship the way it is but it is no sure bet. The offense is much better this year but it would be nice if the starters didn't get run into the ground with playing time like they did last year. I have a feeling that, come playoff time, Flip will revert back to a seven-man rotation. That would mean another tired team in the conference finals and NBA finals.

I'm with you though. Joe-D should look into bringing in an offensive spark like Vinny.

What happened to McDyess anyway? He couldn't miss last year.

Take care,


Anonymous said...

Is it possible for the pistons to get garnett?

Jake said...

Unfortunately, any chances of the Pistons trading for KG probably went out the window when Ben Wallace signed with the Bulls. I would think that the only way it would make sense for the Pistons is if they could get KG without giving up more than one of RIP, Sheed, Tayshaun and Billups. At this point, any trade would have to include Rip. The salaries would have to match because Bill Davidson doesn't like to go over the salary cap. The Pistons have two first round picks next year. They could offer something like RIP, Antonio McDyess, Dale Davis' expiring contract and three first round draft picks. I can't say with certainty that Minnesota would have any interest in that trade. I would do it if I were the Pistons.

Realistically, Joe Dumars would likely not be willing to give up that much for KG. I think it's a no brainer but Joe D loves his guys to a fault.


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