The LA Times says that the Timberwolves and the Lakers were discussing a possible three-team (or more) trade that would bring Kevin Garnett to the Lakers. I was skeptical from the start.
The rumor involved a deal with both Indiana and Boston, yet not a single Caucasian player was headed to either city. Look, Larry Bird and Danny Ainge love white players. The Celtics almost threw up a whitewash a few years ago. Bird gave Golden State a playoff berth this year by trading for Troy Murphy AND Mike Dunleavy. On purpose!
It's still possible that the Lakers could get Jermaine O'Neal, but if so, I want to see more realistic trade packages. How about Vlad Radmanovic heading to Indianapolis instead of Lamar Odom? Then, the Pacers could potentially have a starting front court of Murphy, Vlad Rad, and Dunleavy - the softest, slowest, jump-shootingest collection of big men in NBA history.
The newest Garnett rumor has Shawn Marion heading to Boston, and Kevin Garnett heading to Phoenix. There are some permutations to the deal, including the involvement of the Atlanta Hawks or Charlotte Bobcats, but it appears that Boston and Phoenix are the key players. This deal is much more likely to happen because of one man: Pat Burke.
Pat Burke is a 33-year-old reserve center for Phoenix, and the first Irish-born basketball player to make it to the NBA. He's the captain of the Irish national basketball team, which probably rivals the Jamaican bobsled team in terms of its suitability for international competition. If you put Pat in Boston, every pale-faced, freckled, borderline-alcoholic shamrock-tattooed Celtics fan (that's like 65% of the fanbase) would run out to buy a Burke jersey the very next day. Black players might not want to come to Boston, but Burke might play for free for the kind of adulation he'd receive in Boston. If the Suns could include Eric Piatkowski or famed Kiwi Sean Marks in the deal, this could be a blockbuster whitewash of Tom Sawyerian proportions.
Best of all, the Suns have two late-first-round draft choices to sweeten the deal, the perfect place to take a flyer on a college Caucasian like Josh McRoberts or Nick Fazekas.
Look, Danny Ainge has helped build two NBA champions already, helping the Pistons acquire Rasheed Wallace in 2004 and the Miami Heat pick up Antoine Walker in 2005. He might as well help out Phoenix, since the Celtics won't be anywhere near a championship anytime soon. Why not put together a team that's popular in Southie and makes fans feel like they're time-traveling to the 1950's?
Besides, Greg Ostertag wants to make a comeback. Embrace the precision chest passes, the blocked layups, and the sunburns, and make this thing happen, Ainge. Then, when the Celtics finish with the NBA's worst record, they can use next year's top pick on Kevin Love.