JamFan - Rumors circulated again this week about certain teams keeping an eye on the KG situation in Minnesota. Even though MInnesota has opened out of the gate playing well, conventional wisdom says that they are in rebuilding mode and don't have anywhere near enough assets to contend for a Western Conference champsionship much less deliver NBA Championship rings.
KG is 29 years old and in his prime. Last year he finished with the highest efficiency rating in the NBA at 33 EFF. If Minnesota is in rebuilding mode, by the time they get there, KG's dream might have faded. For him the time is now. So the speculation is out there he could ask for a trade. But he would be able to control where he goes.
Does that road lead him to LA? Over the summer he purchased a home in Malibu. He visited Laker summer league games. Worked out with Kobe. He talked. There were rumored comments he made to friends in Malibu about his concern over Minnesota's lack of putting together a chamionship level team now.
So there was speculation even this summer that KG was indeed hinting about coming to the Lakers. But the Lake Show has built there entire strategy around bringing in a superstar 2 years from now. Kobe would be 29 then, but KG would be 31. KG might not be willing to wait. Its not just being 31, its having to toil 2 more years with a team that is not going to get there.
But the Lakers probably would have already tried to trade for him if they were capable and if KG and the Timberwolves were willing. The problem is that Kobe is not going anywhere, so the only bargaining chip they have is Lamar. Package that with a 1st round draft pick, a young player with promise, and the expiring contract of Slava and you might have a deal.
Or, since KG does have a home here, maybe the destination is not the Lakers at all. Maybe its the Clippers. Most pundits believe that they are the best team in LA. KG has a close friend, Sam Cassell whispering in his ear. The Clippers could trade Elton Brand or Corey Maggette and a 1st round pick and be a much stronger and deeper team than the Lakers would be with Odom gone. With the Lakers it would be Kobe and KG with little help after that. With the Clippers it would be KG, Cassell, Mobley, Livingston, Wilcox, Kaman, and either Brand or Maggette. Some would think KG would have a better chance of a ring there than at the Lakers with a depleted lineup. 2 years ago the Lakers failed with 4 hall of famers.
I think that KG would want a major market that LA provides. It's the biggest stage in the NBA. Warm weather, sandy beaches, sunsets over Malibu, a possible ring........to much to pass up. The problem is how he gets here and for which LA team he plays. JamFan