NBA Trade Rumors: Boston Celtics Would Be Foolish to Move Kevin Garnett

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2013

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 24:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics grimaces after coming up with a rebound against the New York Knicks during the game on January 24, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics would be foolish to trade a player as valuable as veteran power forward Kevin Garnett, no matter how the rest of this season goes.

Despite the leap in logic in trading away the team's emotional leader, Sporting News NBA insider Sean Deveney reported that the Los Angeles Clippers were interested in acquiring Garnett:

According to Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post, the long-time NBA veteran has said that he has no interest in the Nuggers, but Kiszla still asserts that a deal for the veteran could happen before the trade deadline:

Through his representatives, Garnett has let it be known he has no current interest in the Nuggets. Don't be surprised, however, if Garnett is gone from Boston before the league's Feb. 21 trade deadline. And that's why the Nuggets must continue to monitor the situation.

No matter where Boston sits in the standings at the trade deadline or finishes the 2012-13 regular season, the Celtics are better in the long run retaining Garnett through the remainder of his contract.

The 36-year-old, 17-year NBA veteran provides as much to the Boston organization off the court with his leadership and work ethic as he does on it, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still play efficiently.

Garnett is averaging 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this year, and with the season-ending injuries to both point guard Rajon Rondo and rookie forward Jared Sullinger, the Celtics have continued to lean more and more on the veteran as the season progresses.

As for the development of a potential star like Sullinger, Boston knows that if they keep Garnett around (due an average of $12 million per season through 2014-15, per Hoopshype) he will be able to teach the young star how to play the game the right way.

The Celtics way.

Sullinger is a smart player with a ton of raw talent, but the polish that playing alongside and under the tutelage of a legend like Garnett is an intangible that can’t be measured through statistics.

If Garnett’s numbers start to slip dramatically or he begins to miss long periods of time to nagging injuries, Boston would be stuck with his pricey contract and would not get anything of value back for the veteran.

As serious as that risk is, the reward of keeping him on the roster for three more seasons is 100 percent worth it.

Garnett is the heart and soul of the Celtics, and as Rondo and Sullinger return to the lineup next season, the team will once again try to win an NBA Championship.

KG must be one of the centerpieces of that effort.