Clippers, Celtics Engaged In Kevin Garnett Talks

February 3 2013 at 12:33pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Clippers have reached out to the Celtics about trading for Kevin Garnett, and any offer would include Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler, sources tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link). Deveney cautions, via Twitter, that the Celtics haven't decided yet whether to break up their core, but it appears they'll have at least one option if they decide to do so. Ric Bucher reported earlier this week that some GMs would be reluctant to trade for Garnett, fearing he may retire before his contract is up in 2015, even if Garnett might not be quite ready to hang it up at the end of this season.

Garnett is one of four players who negotiated no-trade clauses into their contracts, so he'd have to approve any deal. A swap of Garnett for Bledsoe and Butler would work for salary-matching purposes, but I'm not sure the Celtics, with Rajon Rondo in the middle of a team-friendly deal, would have interest in a package headlined by an up-and-coming point guard. Bledsoe would fill the void left while Rondo recovers from his ACL injury, but the Celtics would have a decision to make either this summer, when Bledsoe is up for an extension on his rookie deal, or next, when he's set to become a restricted free agent. Rondo, like Garnett, is signed through 2015. Butler makes $8MM this season and next, so his presence wouldn't do much to help the Celtics clear cap space.

The Clippers' proposal makes much more sense from their end. Garnett would provide veteran leadership for a team looking to make unprecedented strides in the playoffs. He'd strengthen a front line that includes Blake Griffin, and he would probably see fewer minutes than he's getting in Boston with DeAndre Jordan and Lamar Odom around in Los Angeles. A reduced role may fit the bill for the 36-year-old Garnett, whose aging legs prompted the concern from league executives that Bucher passed along. 

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