Kevin Garnett worked hard, played well and won big. That earned him a no-trade clause written into his contract, a rare privilege extended currently only to Garnett, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki.
David Stern has, in effect, taken it away from Garnett.
The Clippers tried to trade for Garnett at the trade deadline, but it wasn’t certain he’d allow it.
Now that he’d probably allow it, the NBA seems prepared to block it.
The NBA’s decision involves questionable rationale – why can teams split trades into multiple pieces to create trade exceptions, but this is banned? – and also an unreasonably hard line.
One appeal of Rivers to the Clippers is his ability to attract top talent. Obviously, that primarily relates to Chris Paul, but Rivers could help with Garnett, too. If Garnett is willing to to accept a trade to the Clippers, the NBA shouldn’t stop it.
Rivers going to Los Angeles makes a Garnett-for-DeAndre Jordan trade make more sense for all parties. Garnett fits well with the contending Clippers, and the rebuilding Celtics could use a younger Jordan.
There’s a catch-22, though, because Garnett might not accept the trade without Rivers in place. And if Rivers were still in Boston, maybe the Celtics wouldn’t want to trade Garnett, anyway. Plus, without Rivers to relate to him, maybe the Clippers wouldn’t want to add such an intense personality to their locker room.
But Los Angeles does have Rivers, and somehow, instead of making a Garnett trade tenable for all parties, it’s now seemingly impossible.
Everything is fluid, and I don’t see why the NBA should bar that continuity here. Of course, Rivers and Garnett going to the Clippers would be related. But so is every single decision every team makes. No team makes a move without the next move in mind. It all relates together. It always relates together.
A waiting period for, or worse an outright prohibition of, getting Garnett to the Los Angeles is unfair to the Clippers, Celtics and Garnett.