What are the Clippers Title Odds if they Land Kevin Garnett?

By Lucas M.

Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge is known for exploring any and all trade options available to his team. However, he appears to be working overtime as the NBA heads into the All-Star break. It was reported by CBS Sports that preliminary trade talks occurred between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics about trading Dwight Howard for Rajon Rondo. Simultaneously, rumors are swirling that Kevin Garnett could be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe. Kevin Garnett has a no-trade clause in his contract, and said to the media that he has no intentions of waiving it in this case, though the speculation is interesting nonetheless. Even the Clippers two best players, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, had something to say about the rumors.

“I think people are just talking,” Paul said. “At the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to have Kevin Garnett on their team? I talk about that guy all day, every day, his intensity to the game and how he plays the game. He’s a special player. That’s a guy right there that I looked up to for a long time. Me and Chauncey (Billups) are really close and he and Chauncey are really close and everything I know about him is that he’s a very loyal guy.”

The trade is so intriguing for a simple reason: the Clippers are very, very good, and the addition of Garnett could push them over the top and make them a true threat to win the title. While they are very good right now, they’re not quite great, and one more big piece could be all they need.

“I love the way he competes as a player,” Griffin said. “He’s a very, very serious competitor. His level of professionalism is off the charts. Every game, I’ve heard he’s the most intense guy to be around. That’s tough to do to play as many games as he’s played and still have that level of intensity. I think we need to be better. I think we have enough talent to be a championship contender … Sometimes you have to plant the seeds and let them grow and all that but with the pieces we have now is the time to continually keep attacking and make those moves to be a championship team.”

From the quotes that those two players are giving, it seems like this trade may have some actual legs to it. The Clippers are currently 8/1 to win the NBA title and 4/1 to win the Western Conference. Would Garnett’s addition vault them above both the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder in that discussion? It would be interesting to see what Las Vegas thought of such a move, though the Clippers prospects would almost certainly have to improve, and they’re already the third-favored team in the West. Time will tell if the Clippers make any big moves as we approach the late-February trade deadline, though one thing is for sure: the Clippers are pretty good right now even without KG>

“Everybody knows I love our team and love the position that we’re in right now,” Paul said. “We’ve been playing great basketball. Right now I’m focused on who we have and what we’re doing because we’re not playing bad … Whatever we have out there, we’re going to fight with. We’re like brothers. I love our team and we’re moving forward.”