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.

Patrick Reusse can be heard weekdays on AM-1500 KSTP at 6:45 and 7:45 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. • preusse@startribune.com

Kevin Garnett Ø

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Guthrie 2
New Orleans 7:25 PM
Carolina
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Milwaukee 106 FINAL
Charlotte 108
Philadelphia 91 FINAL
Indiana 103
Atlanta 102 FINAL
Toronto 109
Brooklyn 105 FINAL
Boston 121
Washington 95 FINAL
Miami 107
Chicago 104 FINAL
New York 80
Minnesota 101 FINAL
Memphis 105
Detroit 79 FINAL
Denver 89
Houston 104 FINAL
Utah 93
Golden State 95 FINAL
Sacramento 77
LA Lakers 99 FINAL
Phoenix 119
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Portland 106
Detroit 4 FINAL
Washington 2
Nashville 4 FINAL
Edmonton 1
(2) Florida State 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
Vancouver FC 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

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