The nonsensical cliché that has been repeated frequently is that a Kevin Garnett trade would cause the Timberwolves to suffer a big loss in attendance.
We already have this evidence that the Wolves have gone as low as they can get with Minnesota's sporting public:
In this modern era, where everything in big-time sports is more expensive, the Wolves were forced to reduce prices substantially in order to retain season-ticket holders.
There will be folks in the lower deck next season paying $18 per game to hold those seats. Welcome to ticket prices from the days of the first President Bush.
It wasn't a Garnett trade to be feared by the lost legion of Wolves loyalists. The fear was they would make a Garnett trade that brought a subpar ransom.
No matter the public remarks, it's obvious that Kevin McHale and his numerous underlings spent much of this month trying to muster a digestible package for Garnett.
The complications of making a deal were enormous: finding a trading partner that was willing to absorb KG's huge contract (complete with a $6.75 million trade kicker over two years), and also provide a draft pick in the lottery, a talented young player and then a veteran or two with expiring contracts.
The NBA draft came and went on Thursday night with no Garnett trade. That makes it almost certain he will be back next fall, which isn't the worst outcome for the Wolves.
They still will have the only superstar in franchise history in the lineup, and there will be at least a couple of reinforcements. Juwan Howard, the 6-9 veteran, was brought in a trade for Mike James earlier this month. And, on Thursday, the Wolves added Corey Brewer, a much skinnier 6-9, as the seventh overall selection in the draft.
Somehow, even with the low level of Wolves interest, considerable energy was spent dissecting the upcoming draft on local sports talk radio and on websites. Brewer seemed to be the public's choice from the get-go.
He was in the group of Florida juniors -- with Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Taurean Green -- that led the Gators to back-to-back national titles.
"Brewer, Jeff Green and [Al] Thornton were the three guys we liked for this pick," McHale said. "I knew one would be available."
Green wound up in Seattle after a trade for Boston's No. 5 choice. Thornton lasted until the 14th pick with the Los Angeles Clippers.
McHale showed up in the media room two hours after he made the choice. He used a half-dozen "greats" in describing Brewer's game and his personality. Eventually, he was asked about the week of Garnett rumors.
McHale dismissed all those trade reports with a one-liner, as you knew he would, and then said, yes, Garnett will be with the Wolves next season.
The satisfaction of McHale and the local draft wonks with the Brewer selection did not prevent a couple of terrifying moments in the aftermath.
The NBA put Brewer on a conference call with the Twin Cities media. Everything was going fine, until a reporter asked him if he saw a comparison between his game and that of Trenton Hassell, one of the overpriced veterans the Wolves will be trying to trade in the months ahead.
Let's put it this way: If Brewer's game, after all those "greats" from McHale, offers any reminder to Hassell's, the Wolves will have to go below $18 for lower-deck season tickets in 2008-09.
|Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson||2||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - WP: V. Mazzaro||4|
|Baltimore||2||Top 3rd Inning|
|Cleveland||1||Bottom 2nd Inning|
|LA Angels - J. Blanton||7:10 PM|
|Kansas City - E. Santana|
|San Jose||9:30 PM|
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