Trading the Franchise for...what?
Did you hear?
The Minnesota Timberwolves just traded Kevin Garnett for an Eddy Curry wannabe (Al Jefferson), a six-foot shooting guard that can't hit a jumper outside of ten feet who has also had cops find a loaded handgun on his person he "didn't know of" twice (Sebastian Telfair), an aging shotblocker with a $10 million contract (Theo Ratliff) and two stiffs who could just as easily be in the NBDL or playing in Europe (Gerald Green and Ryan Gomes).
And they paid Troy Hudson nearly $10 million not to play. Yes, not to play.
Oh, but they received two draft picks. One that they'd previously traded away. The other one is the 2009 pick from a team that will have three perennial All-Stars on it, the new and improved Celtics with Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce.
This summer, I remember thinking, "Wow, Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale are the two worst general managers in the NBA." Well, I'm still convinced of that, but after McHale made this trade, the difference between the worst (McHale) and the second-worst (Ainge) became a chasm.
Kevin Garnett is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, the best rebounder of his generation, and one of the NBA's few stars that actually cares about giving back to the community. He gave Minnesota so much.
And what did McHale and owner Glen Taylor give back to Garnett? Well, one good season, the 2003-2004 Western Conference Finals team. And they got even less for Garnett when they traded him.
The thing is, no professional sports organization can always be the best, but it's easy to be permanently mired in failure. All you have to do is lack a sensible plan for your organization.
Rosters change, stars age, role players have to be scrounged for, and young stars seek monster contracts. But every owner and general manager has to have a plan.
Do the Timberwolves have a plan?
Yes, they went out and got some youth. But aside from the still-developing big man Al Jefferson, they got youth, yes, but very little talent. And nonshooting guard Sebastian Telfair and his $2.5 million contract is more likely to end up in jail than on an All-Star team.
The Timberwolves have taken the first step of rebuilding after the Garnett era. That is, the T-Wolves will be one of the NBA's worst teams next season. But for most rebuilding teams, like the post-Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls, there is a glimmer of hope--light at the end of the tunnel.
Not so for this team. It's going to be all pain and no gain. With the Garnett trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves just became an expansion team.
So what's the plan? Kevin McHale needs to resign, number one. After that, who knows? At least with ticket-scalping legalized, the low demand for tickets will mean affordable seats when the elite NBA teams come to town--teams with an organizational plan who execute that plan: the Dallas Mavericks, the Phoenix Suns, the San Antonio Spurs, and yes, the once-woeful, now-rebuilt Chicago Bulls, among others.
In conclusion, with Kevin Garnett departing, it's sad that the T-Wolves could neither give him back much, nor could they get much for him.
See you in the Target Center! With luck, we could win 30 games!