Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant could be on the same team if talks currently underway bear fruit. Mike Bresnahan reports:
The owners of the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves have begun talks for a trade that would involve sending Kevin Garnett to the Lakers, league sources said today. A multi-team trade discussion is underway involving the Lakers, Indiana, Minnesota and possibly a fourth team, with the Lakers getting Garnett and the Pacers getting Lamar Odom and teenage center Andrew Bynum from the Lakers. Another minor player will probably be added to make the deal work financially.
Garnett can opt out of his contract after next season. He wants an extension, which Buss reportedly told Taylor he was willing to offer. Garnett is due to earn $22 million next season and $23 million in 2008-09, the last year of his contract.
Garnett, a 10-time All-Star, averaged 22.4 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.7 blocked shots last season while showing few signs of slowing down, other than spending the last five games of the season in Los Angeles â€” he has a home in Malibu â€” to rest a sore right quadriceps.
Bynum, 19, started his second NBA season with a flurry, including a memorable game against Minnesota in November in which he had 20 points,14 rebounds and three blocked shots. But Bynum struggled during the second half of the season and finished with averages of 7.8 points and 5.9 rebounds a game. The Lakers have been criticized by Bryant for not trading Bynum at the February trade deadline to get Jason Kidd from New Jersey.
Odom, 27, was acquired three years ago as part of the trade that sent Shaquille O’Neal to Miami. Odom averaged 15.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists last season and missed 26 games because of knee and shoulder injuries. He had a torn labrum in his left shoulder repaired last month and is expected to return in time for training camp in October.
While Bynum has tremendous upside at his age and Odom is a solid player, this would be a windfall for the Lakers. Maybe this time Kobe will appreciate that having a second superstar player on his team is a good thing.