Patrick Reusse, June 20: Time to trade Garnett, Hunter

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 25, 2007 - 5:37 PM

It would be in their teams' best interests, but that doesn't mean the Timberwolves or Twins will act.

The Timberwolves have Kevin Garnett and are a franchise without hope. The Twins have Torii Hunter and are no better than the seventh-best team in the American League.

Kevin McHale and Terry Ryan are general managers who should face reality and make trades as soon as possible, yet both can be expected to sit on their thumbs -- McHale because of stubbornness and Ryan because of timidity.

Garnett turned 31 in May. He has gone from an MVP three seasons ago to a player no longer among the NBA's top 10. With Garnett as the face of the franchise, the Wolves have plummeted in the standings, in ticket sales and in television ratings.

A Garnett trade would not improve the crowds or the television audience, but such a trade would result in a young roster that could be offered to the public as hope for the next decade.

The trade bandied about by espn.com's Chad Ford has Garnett going to Boston for four players -- Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair -- and the No. 5 overall selection.

Obviously, this is way too optimistic on the ransom the Wolves could obtain for Garnett. Plus: The idea of playing with Paul Pierce in the easier Eastern Conference might appeal to KG, but there's no way he's going to embrace being reunited with Wally Szczerbiak in Boston.

The Wolves would prefer Ratliff because he will earn $11.7 million next season and then his contract expires. The Celtics would want to move Szczerbiak, who has bad feet, ankles and $25 million due over the next two years.

Yet, if you could get the talented Green, the capable Jefferson and the No. 5, McHale would have to be worse at his job than Wolves' followers already think is the case not to also take the troubled Telfair and the oft-hobbled Szczerbiak.

The Boston trade, unfortunately, figures to be more ESPN speculation than fact. If Garnett does get traded, the logical location remains the Los Angeles Lakers. For the Lakers, that would shut up Kobe Bryant and make tickets inside the Staples Center almost as tough to get as they were when Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were together.

This would require McHale pushing Indiana out of the way in the Pacers attempt to trade Jermaine O'Neal to the Lakers for a package including Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton (sign and trade), Kwame Brown and the 19th pick in the draft. Throw in Brian Cook with that package and the money would work for Garnett to go to the Lakers.

Either trade -- the pipe dream with Boston or a reasonable deal with the Lakers -- would make the long-term outlook better and not have all that much effect on the futile present for the Timberwolves.

As for Hunter, there's no one who has watched a Twins game in the past decade that would prefer a Torii trade. He's a character, he's a competitor and he's a better hitter the past two seasons than at any time in his career.

He also will turn 32 next month. No matter what platitudes you read from Ryan or other Twins officials on the possibility of bringing back Hunter, let's not be idiotic here:

Larry Reynolds is Hunter's agent, and he doesn't offer discounts. It will take four years at nearly $60 million to sign Hunter. You can't sign a 32-year-old player -- no matter how popular and productive -- for a deal like that when Justin Morneau, 27, and Michael Cuddyer, 28, will need big-dollar, multiyear contracts in the next couple of years.

Morneau, Joe Mauer and Cuddyer ... that's the core of the franchise for the next half-dozen years.

The logical trade would send Hunter to the Yankees for outfielder Melky Cabrera and prospects such as pitcher Tyler Clippard and third baseman Eric Duncan (who has to hit some day after all those rave reviews).

The time is approaching for Ryan to end this dual charade -- that the Twins are a contender, and Hunter might be re-signed -- and make a Chuck Knoblauch-style deal.

He won't, of course, and Torii will walk away in the offseason.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 25 4th Qtr 3:38
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 67 3rd Qtr 4:33
LA Lakers 51
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close