NBA Teams That Should Push to Trade for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett
Teams looking to acquire Garnett will likely have to convince him that they will be contenders once he joins them if they aren't already. And teams attempting to land Pierce should have a win-now game plan to go along with a desire for future financial flexibility.
Golden State Warriors: Paul Pierce
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The Warriors have been fun to watch and tough to play, but they're still missing one piece that could make them realistic contenders: A go-to scorer.
Golden State doesn't have that wing who can generate his own offense without having to be set up. Cue Paul Pierce.
Pierce would fit perfectly between Klay Thompson and David Lee, assuming the Warriors would have to include Harrison Barnes in any deal. Not only would Golden State be getting Pierce's scoring production, but his leadership would be huge for a young team with zero playoff experience.
Denver Nuggets: Kevin Garnett
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The Denver Nuggets have about 24 wings and zero power forwards who can provide toughness in the paint.
Between Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Corey Brewer, Wilson Chandler, Jordan Hamilton and Anthony Randolph, Denver has some talent just picking up dust.
While Kenneth Faried is a proven rebounder and jolt of energy, he offers little intimidation as a defensive presence. He measured 6'6'' in socks before the NBA draft a few years back.
Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee have played well, but neither provide the interior physicality that Kevin Garnett brings to the table.
I'm not sure K.G. would make Denver a contender, but he certainly would give the team a scarier look.
Memphis Grizzlies: Paul Pierce
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The Grizzlies have made it known that they've been looking to shed contracts to avoid the future luxury tax. They just dealt Marreese Speights, Josh Selby and Wayne Ellington for this exact reason, but new owner Robert Pera may still not be completely satisfied.
Paul Pierce for Rudy Gay would allow Memphis to ease their future financial concerns and make a run in 2013.
From a roster balance standpoint, the transition would be seamless. Piece would slide right into the 3 and be able to play the same brand of basketball he's played his whole career.
Rudy Gay hasn't been the most reliable source when it comes to scoring this year. Pierce's consistency and disciplined offensive repertoire would be just what the doctor ordered to improve the Grizzlies' chances as a contender today.
Houston Rockets: Kevin Garnett
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The Houston Rockets have a young core, but with superstar talent in James Harden, they're only a few pieces away from being a routine pest in the West.
Up front, particularly at the 4, Houston is really lacking. Neither Patrick Patterson nor Marcus Morris will be a starting-caliber power forward in the NBA even when they reach their ceilings.
Kevin Garnett would be a perfect addition to a lineup that needs some stability.
Because Houston is unable to score easy baskets in the half court, they push the tempo and try and catch defenses off-guard. It leads to a frantic and at times chaotic style of play. Garnett would allow the Rockets to be a more effective half-court team, with his ability to pick and pop or score in the post.
Dallas Mavericks: Paul Pierce
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If the Mavericks were looking to salvage their season and make one last push for the playoffs, Paul Pierce might be an attractive option.
With Mark Cuban seemingly committed to Dirk Nowitzki and a win-now mentality, Pierce's age shouldn't be too much of a turnoff.
The Mavericks could use another reliable scorer on the wing because they have had to rely too much on O.J. Mayo, who isn't yet qualified to lead a team as the go-to guy. That role shouldn't go to Nowitzki either, who is coming off knee surgery and clearly isn't the player he once was.
Dallas is only 4.5 games back of the No. 8 seed in the West, and a Mayo-Pierce-Nowitzki core could help the Mavericks get back above .500.
Philadelphia 76ers: Kevin Garnett
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With Andrew Bynum's return nearing and Jrue Holiday emerging as an NBA star, Philadelphia has some pieces that can help them go places.
But they're missing experience and depth in their frontcourt.
Kevin Garnett could serve as Bynum's mentor and keep him grounded while he works his way back from injury.
With Thaddeus Young more of a natural 3 than a 4, and Lavoy Allen posing as the only backup power forward, the Sixers could use Garnett for more than one reason. Both his offense and defense would be valued in this lineup that relies too heavily on its point guard to score.
There's talent on this roster, but Philly could really use a veteran who commands respect and knows what it takes.