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Miami Heat Should Pursue Kevin Garnett
The Miami Heat have enough firepower to win NBA championships without Kevin Garnett, but in my opinion, his acquisition would secure Larry O'Brien trophies for Miami through the end of KG's Hall of Fame career.
And, it's not as far-fetched as it sounds.
Boston Celtics' GM Danny Ainge has said that he will not repeat the errors of Red Auerbach, who Ainge claims regretted keeping the championship nucleus of '80s in Boston past their primes. Ainge has publicly stated that he is willing to trade any of Big Three, two of whom are in the final year of their contracts.
Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
The question is, if the Celtics cannot trade KG and Allen by the end of the 2012 season, why would the two aging stars resign with a team that has made it abundantly clear that they are expendable, for considerably less money, while the team rebuilds? And further, will both be looking to join a contender for the midlevel exception or the mini-midlevel, or will they be looking for market value for their services?
In Garnett's case, I am almost positive he will take less money to play for a contender. Garnett is on an extremely short list of NBA players who have signed two $100+ million contracts and has stated that one of his biggest regrets was not leaving Minnesota earlier for a contender. At this point in his career, I doubt that money is his top priority.
Now, I know this campaign for KG would be unpopular in Miami. Heat fans hate the Celtics, especially Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Put emotions aside.
Garnett could not be a more perfect for Miami. He was the premier defensive player of his generation and even at 35, KG is still a top five defensive player in the league. His current Defensive Rating of 95, points allowed per 100 possessions, is second in the NBA among starting power forwards.
This defensive intensity is a seamless fit with the Heat's philosophy.
Further, on a team with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Garnett would not have as much pressure to score as he had in Boston, which undoubtedly contributed to his ineffectiveness late in playoff series. And with Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony and Eddy Curry sharing minutes in the front court, Garnett could play F-C for Miami for several years.
More importantly, however, Garnett would provide a vocal leader Miami seems to be missing. Garnett is one of the few players in the NBA that would command LeBron's and Wade's respect. And whether you agree with Garnett's authoritative, brutish approach or not, I sincerely feel that his ferocity and competitive spirit are the antidote to the prolonged defensive lapses that have contributed to the huge leads Miami has embarrassingly blown since the Big Three joined forces.
Garnett is the type of player who holds everyone accountable at all times, regardless of the name on the back of the jersey.
In this way, Garnett could play a similar role in Miami that Bill Russell did for the Celtics in the late 1960s.
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