Last month, we wrote about how the Wolves should try to acquire Kevin Garnett as a mentor of sorts for all their young players. It was a bit of wishful thinking, a bit of puzzle pieces fitting together and a bit of a whim.
It seemed unlikely at the time that it could happen this year. We were really interested in next year, a final stop for Garnett, No. 21 coming back to Minnesota to play season 21 in the NBA.
But it went from speculative curiosity to the Wolves and Nets talking trade to “cautious optimism” that this thing could get done today (per a tweet from Marc Stein) faster than KG in his prime could swat away a shot.
Make no mistake: The Wolves would not be getting KG in his prime. They wouldn’t even be getting him in those golden years, when he was still productive in Boston even if he was on the decline. Da Kid is no kid anymore. He’s fifth all-time in NBA minutes played, closing in on 50,000, and could be third in minutes before the season ends.
The wear and tear of aging has taken him from up-and-comer, to superstar, to useful cog, to role player.
But it doesn’t matter. The Wolves absolutely should acquire Garnett if they can. It’s not about filling seats, though we suppose there will be curiosity from fans. It’s about setting an example, even if it’s only for a couple months and he decides not to play a 21st season, for a roster filled with promising players as young as he once was.
For all of Garnett’s flaws, his defining feature has always been a relentlessness that we’ve never seen matched. He and Ricky Rubio would click. He and Andrew Wiggins would talk. He and the rest of the young Wolves would probably butt heads and come out better for it.
Teaching a young team to gel is a coach’s responsibility, too, but there’s no substitute for the leadership from a player.