Jim Souhan: Iverson, Garnett would be perfect together

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 15, 2006 - 6:31 AM

The Wolves, a team with a few issues, could steal a dynamic player with well-chronicled issues of his own. Forget the negatives; the move makes perfect sense.

We could analyze which players the Timberwolves could afford to trade for Allen Iverson, and how the salary cap numbers break down, and whether Iverson's disdain for practice would jell with Kevin Garnett's work ethic, and whether Iverson would fall prey to the Micheal Williams curse that seems to afflict every Wolves point guard.

Don't let such debates, though, distract you from the obvious: The Wolves should trade anybody and everybody on their roster other than Garnett for Iverson by, oh, yesterday.

Perhaps never again in Garnett's tenure will the Wolves face an chance to trade so little for such a great, great player.

General Mismanager Kevin McHale needs to recognize where he and his "organization" reside: Nowheresville, U.S.A.

The Wolves aren't good enough to win a title. They aren't bad enough to ensure the high draft choices (they've still got their picks for 2023 and 2024) required to rebuild.

Garnett's versatile and relentless play will keep the Wolves in the middle of the pack, and the Wolves' lack of draft choices and cornucopia of bad contracts will keep them from ascending.

Which is why The Answer is the answer to the question: What have the Wolves got to lose?

If they trade for Iverson and the team implodes, what is the downside? Missing a chance to win the eighth seed and get spanked by the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs?

This, for McHale, is a free throw. If he deals for Iverson and it doesn't work out, I won't blame him. No one should.

He would have invigorated his franchise, however briefly, and actually sold a few tickets, which is becoming an increasingly difficult task.

Iverson and Garnett would give the Wolves a chance to threaten any playoff opponent, which is more than you can say for the current roster. This don't-look-now franchise would instantly become one of the NBA's few gotta-check-this-out teams.

And if it doesn't work with Garnett and Iverson, it wasn't going to work with Garnett and any other subset of guards.

This is no time to worry that Iverson's baggage won't fit into the overhead bin.

If this were the Twins, the Wild, even the Vikings -- an organization that either has established or is trying to establish a discernible ethic -- the arrival of a prima donna could endanger the entire franchise.

If you are the Wolves, who would you rather have jacking up shots -- the wondrously intense, proud and creative Iverson, or Ricky "I wear my own personal shot clock" Davis?

Iverson and Garnett would be perfect together. Can you imagine defending the pick and roll, with Iverson handling the ball and Garnett shooting open 12-footers? Can you imagine fourth quarters with Iverson slashing and Garnett free to dish and attack the glass? Can you imagine Iverson with a defensive stopper watching his back?

Celtics star Paul Pierce was asked about the prospect of playing with Iverson. His response was apt, and hilarious. "I think it would work out with the two of us," Pierce told the Boston Globe. "I played with the biggest jacker in league history in Antoine Walker, didn't I? He was just jacking up shots. At least Iverson might go hit them at a higher clip and get to the free-throw line."

Yes, we've been down this road before. Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell brought the Wolves their best season, then did their best to sabotage the franchise when huge contracts were not forthcoming.

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