It's that time of year. We seem to hear more crazy rumors around draft time and the lead up to free agency than the rest of the year combined.
If we want to be outrageous, it might be worth examining an improbable, but attainable, idea. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Steve Nash could play on the same team next season. And that team could be the Brooklyn Nets.
Now, please understand, it's obviously beyond unlikely that these three revered stars would ever even consider playing together to end their careers. But, it doesn't mean we can't think about it.
Duncan and Garnett are both 36 and Nash is 38. All three are incredibly loyal to their respective franchises, and it seems more feasible that Duncan and Garnett would retire before they would don another team's uniform.
However, if there was ever a situation where Duncan and Garnett could be convinced to switch allegiances, it might be to play alongside Nash. We would be talking about the three best leaders in the NBA teaming together to make one final run at the title. It would be fascinating to watch. Chances are, injuries, age and lack of roster depth would make the Geriatric Big Three fall short of their goal, but it sure would be a spectacle.
What makes the idea of Duncan, Garnett and Nash teaming together hypothetically realistic—besides the enjoyment of playing alongside each other—is that a team far under the salary cap could make it work financially. None of the three stars can really command max money anymore. A suitor could potentially tantalize the three financially by offering each of them longer contracts than their current employers would be willing to extend. For instance, each player could be offered something like a fully guaranteed three year, $36 million deal. It seems unlikely that Boston, Phoenix, or San Antonio would want to offer such lengthy commitments.
There is, of course, a huge risk involved with offering aging stars three (or four) year deals. It's a brazenly dangerous gamble for a team. But for a franchise like the Brooklyn Nets that potentially has massive cap space, it could also be a rather amazing opportunity.
Think of the Nets. They have spent the last year aimlessly angling for Dwight Howard and have gotten nowhere. They might be better off forgetting their fruitless quest for Howard, and renouncing Deron Williams. In the place of those two fickle stars they could sign Duncan, Garnett, and Nash. It sounds like a pipe dream, but it is financially possible.
Can you imagine the Geriatric Big Three playing in Brooklyn next year? It would be one of the biggest stories in sports, and immediately generate an incredible amount of income for the Nets. Will it happen? The chances are slim to none. But if I were Mikhail Prokhorov or Billy King, I would at least make some calls.