Monday 21st May 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

The Problem with Trading For Kevin Garnett

Move over Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett is about to take center stage at the NBA trade rumor mill extravaganza.

Speculation has swirled over whether or not the Boston Celtics would ultimately deal Garnett, and thus blow up their financially cumbersome roster. As one of only four players with a no-trade clause in the Association, though, Garnett was considered safe. Or rather, he was considered in control of his own destiny, and he didn’t seem fated to leave Boston.

Or so we thought.

Per Shaun Powell of, Garnett is reportedly open to waiving his no-trade clause as long as the deal sends him to a Los Angeles-based team.

Knowing that Garnett returned to the NBA this season specifically to play for Doc Rivers and no one else, such a report borders on inconceivable.

Or (he we go again) does it?

Garnett didn’t exactly deny Powell’s sentiments when speaking with the media (via Brian Robb of

Danny (Ainge) made it very obvious since day one when he brought me and Ray (Allen) here to be aligned with Paul (Pierce) that he was going to do whatever was best for the organization. He’s made that apparent so I’ve understood that. I bleed green, I die green, that’s what it is, but it’s a business though, and when it crossed the paths, I’ll deal with it. Trades are a part of this league. Every year you are going to hear certain things. If I were ya’ll I wouldn’t read much into it.

Not reading too much into any of this is a $36 million idea. Everything is purely conjecture at this point; nothing is appears to be imminent.


And yet, Garnett doesn’t exactly seem opposed to a trade. He wants to finish his career in Beantown, yes, but he doesn’t appear to be as likely to reject any trade that comes his way. Almost needless to say, it’s time for rival general managers to hop on the phones and iron out a deal.

Except that it’s not.

Even at 36, Garnett can have an enormous impact on the outcome of a game. Just ask the Celtics’ defense. Trading for him, however, isn’t something teams should consider. Not right now. Not even if they (the Lakers and Clippers) call Los Angeles home.


Because there’s nothing tying Garnett to them.

Believe me when I say it’s not the $12 million-plus annually Garnett his owed. That’s not the problem. The problem is he can just retire whenever. He came back this season and signed his current deal to play for the Celtics. Not because he primarily cared about winning (though he does care), but because of his allegiance to the boys in green. No other team is going to have the luxury of his extensive loyalty. And knowing that, how can they give up an assortment of valuable assets for him? How can they buy high on a player who can retire (and probably will) before his contract is out?

They can’t or rather, they shouldn’t.

Garnett can still play, that much we know. What we don’t know is if he’s now willing to play for a team that isn’t the Celtics, for a coach that isn’t Doc Rivers and in a city that isn’t Boston.

Until interested teams are able to find the answer to that question, I’m inclined to side with Garnett here, and not read too much into any of it.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at in addition to Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.

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