For some reason the Pistons keep popping up in these Kevin Garnett rumors. I just don't see it happening, but the latest scuttlebutt has the Pistons reportedly offering Rasheed Wallace and Darko Milicic in exchange for Garnett. Chris Sheridan throws gas on the fire in his ESPN Insider Blog:
Dumars insisted he had not been in contact with the Wolves regarding Garnett, and McHale also dismissed the rumor, which came as executives from others teams were trying to gauge whether the Timberwolves would seriously consider dealing the franchise player who has been with Minnesota throughout his entire 10-year NBA career. Team owner Glen Taylor told reporters in Minnesota that Garnett has "never, ever" sought a trade.
. . . snip . . .
Another source insisted Detroit's offer of Wallace and Milicic was real, adding that the offer was made through another Pistons official so that Dumars could maintain deniability in case the players came to him for an explanation.
Personally, I doubt there's any truth to this whatsoever -- it just doesn't seem like Detrot's way of doing things, especially not so early in the season after jumping out with the best record in the league. Chris McCosky over at the Detroit News agrees:
Q: What's with all these rumors about Kevin Garnett's being traded from Minnesota?
A: Garnett is frustrated. There is no way he expected, in his 11th season, to be back at square one in terms of playing on a rebuilding team. He must look around and think it's 1999 all over again. That's when he had to get triple-doubles just to keep his team in games.
So he expresses his frustration. He rips owner Glen Taylor and general manager Kevin McHale, and he publicly longs for the days when Saunders was his coach and the team was a legitimate contender.
(An aside to that: After McHale fired Saunders last season and took over the team himself, Garnett said he learned more in one week under McHale than he had over the last 10. So apparently, KG's affection for Saunders is fickle.)
Anyway, the rumors start there. Clearly, Garnett is not happy. Clearly, he wants to be traded. Clearly, the Timberwolves want to move him and free all that salary to start over.
Clearly, that is all conjecture. Garnett has not said he wants to be traded, and McHale and Taylor have not been shopping him.
You will hear a lot of talk about Garnett as the February trade deadline approaches. And speculation of Garnett's coming to Detroit is inevitable, because of his relationship with Saunders.
Believe this: It won't happen this season. Barring an unforeseen injury or a collapse, the Pistons aren't looking to change the core of their team.
So let it go.
I vaguely remember Garnett making that comment when McHale took over, but I completely forgot about it until being reminded now. Take it with a grain of salt, though, because I also remember hearing several times recently that Garnett spoke with Saunders a lot in the offseason, so I don't think it's exactly fair to say that his "affection for Saunders is fickle." I mean, Kevin McHale was arguably one of the greatest post players to ever play the game, so Garnett's comments back then could have been simple praise for his new coach than criticism at his old coach.
Where am I going with this? I've already said I don't think it's going to happen, but his relationship with Saunders won't be the reason why. The real reason is the salary cap, as I don't think the Pistons have enough room to make it happen (RealGM's Trade Checker, an invaluable resource for times like this, seems to agree.) And if that's true, I don't think Dumars is prepared to gut the team to send enough salary over to make it happen.
If the Pistons ever make a deal like this (and it's a huge, huge "if"), it would be in February, and only if the Pistons were trailing the Cavs and Pacers in the standings. But even then I'm not so sure.