The big story yesterday around the league was that the Los Angeles Clippers were pursuing Boston Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett.
The Clippers wanted to put together a package involving Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to trade for Garnett.
The Los Angeles Times reported later in the day that rumor was not true and the Clippers had not contacted Boston about a trade.
The news about Garnett possibly being on the market is interesting though and there are some destinations for him this season that might make sense for the Celtics.
One place that Garnett could go would be the Oklahoma City Thunder writes ESPN’s Kevin Pelton.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are the most intriguing destination. Upgrading from Kendrick Perkins in the middle would make the Thunder the overwhelming favorite to win the title, and Oklahoma City has enough young assets (including rookies Perry Jones III and Jeremy Lamb and the rights to Toronto’s protected first-round pick) to make a deal like this without overhauling its rotation.
The Thunder definitely do have assets to make a trade this season. Lamb, Jones and the draft picks along with an expiring contract like Kevin Martin mean that the Thunder can do a lot of things if they want to.
Acquiring Garnett and essentially replacing Kendrick Perkins with him would be a definite upgrade for the Thunder. They would surely be thought of as the NBA title favorites if they could pull something like this off.
You have to remember why the Thunder traded James Harden at the beginning of the season. It wasn’t to try and win a title now but to become competitive for the next decade. Getting rid of most of the young assets they have now for a player in his 18th season in the league isn’t exactly parallel with Thunder GM Sam Presti’s vision.
Garnett is without question a much better player than Perkins, both defensively and offensively. He could give the Thunder another option as a midrange spot-up shooter but they already have that in Serge Ibaka. Garnett scores in the post occasionally but it’s unlikely the Thunder would try to feature him too much with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook still getting most of the touches.
Garnett is still an elite defender of the pick-and-roll but how much better is he really than Perkins when it comes to that?
This trade is not going to happen because the Thunder wouldn’t even want to do it even if it technically makes them a little better on paper.
Don’t be surprised if the Celtics come out soon and say that Garnett is not on the market too. It would cripple their team to lose him at this point and it’s not like their season is over. They are 4-0 since Rajon Rondo tore his ACL.