Monday, July 30, 2007

KG to Boston : titletown? Don't count on it...

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The Boston Globe has published varying reports today indicating that the Celtics and Timberwolves will indeed move Kevin Garnett to Boston in a multi-player deal. The lastest version of the trade, being reported by the Globe involves (now wait for it...) Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair and two first round draft picks to the Wolves for Garnett.
In short, the Celtics will give up every promising player they have remaining on their roster (with the possible exception of Kendrick Perkins and Leon Powe) in order to gain one of the best all-round talents of the past ten years in the NBA.
When Danny Ainge decided to make the draft day trade which brought Ray Allen to Boston, he had to have one thing in mind: win now. With the win-now philosophy comes the necessity to trade young promising players for those that can get the job done right now. Jefferson, Gomes and Green are not yet in a position to contribute to a playoff team. They have a long way to go to reach their lofty potentials. Adding KG to a core of players that includes two other stars in Paul Pierce and Ray Allen makes for a promising team, with little in the way of excuses.
The big question is however, can this team make NBA championship-type noises with this team? I think not.
Certainly, this team will make short work of most teams in the weak Atlantic Division. After finishing last in the division last season with an ugly 24-58 record, Boston will no doubt push past perennially in disarray New York, depleted Philadelphia, stagnant New Jersey and will only have problems with the young and rising Toronto Raptors.
However the threesome of Garnett-Allen-Pierce ("GAP") can not win games all by themselves. Unfortunately for the Celtics, basketball is played with five players on court (just ask LeBron James) and even if Boston does make it out of the East, they still must face either San Antonio (just ask LeBron James), Phoenix or Dallas in the Finals. All of these teams are stacked with their own groups of individual talents, as well as well-tuned supporting casts.
Are GAP better than Parker-Ginobili-Duncan, Nash-Marion-Stoudemire, Nowitzki-Howard-Terry? They're clearly better than that last trio, but as for the other groups, who have played together for years, the debate gets a lot more complicated.
I appreciate what Ainge has done in making the decision to throw all of the green eggs into the basket marked "Right Now", but I will forever question why teams like Boston and New York refuse to rebuild in the tradional way, rely on young talent to develop and make wise draft choices along the way. Hey, it's worked for the Trail Blazers.

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