Is Kevin Garnett the Perfect Gamble for LA Clippers' 2013 NBA Title Push?

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterFebruary 16, 2013

March 12, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) and Boston Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett (5) are given double technical fouls during the first half of the game at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This is the type of rumor that makes trade season so captivating.

Who doesn't love a good trade? 

While Kevin Hart and Kenneth Faried were making Friday night All-Star headlines, news began to break of a potential deal (per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski) that would send Kevin Garnett to L.A. for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan.

The Los Angeles Clippers have entered win-now mode. Hard to believe, but true. Right now, they're surveying the landscape of their competition and assessing the current roster.

Can the Clippers make a title run with this nucleus? Is DeAndre Jordan currently a championship-caliber starting center? Vinny Del Negro doesn't seem to think so (per ESPN's Chris Broussard):

Jordan and Eric Bledsoe are essentially kids and were believed to be building blocks for this young team. Not only that, but they've helped make the Clippers the threat they are today.

But we all know this is a league where relationships don't last. Whether you're a star or a scrub, job security is hard to come by. Unless you're Francisco Garcia. I don't know what that guy's secret is.

It isn't difficult to understand why Del Negro is interested in acquiring Kevin Garnett. K.G. would provide this team with a more refined skill set at the center position. With the ability to face the rim from the perimeter and play under it on the interior, he'd add a dimension of offensive versatility that doesn't exist with Jordan in the lineup.

Jordan is a finisher. Garnett is an All-Star. There's a substantial difference.

And now with Chauncey Billups returning to action, Eric Bledsoe's role should be taking a hit anyway, making his presence in the lineup expendable.

There's no question it's a risk. By trading Bledsoe and Jordan, the Clippers would be diminishing one of the advantages they sustain night in and night out—the ability to play higher above the rim than any of their opponents.

But you have to take the reward into account when analyzing the risk. Garnett makes this a more dynamic half-court team and half-court possessions win close games in the playoffs.

This is a bet worth taking for the Clippers. If you have a chance to win now, then later becomes irrelevant.

It's the perfect gamble. There's just too much uncertainty down the road to pass on the opportunity to succeed in the present.

Jordan just doesn't seem like the championship-caliber center that this team needs to win in 2013. Who would you rather have on the floor in the final minutes of a Game 7: Jordan and his 42.9 percent free-throw stroke or Garnett and his track record?

Garnett offers the Clippers reliability down the stretch and valuable experience in the middle.

If you're looking to add a veteran presence and give your lineup some street cred, who better to pursue than Kevin Garnett?

Garnett still has a no-trade clause, however, and would have to waive it for a deal to actually be considered. But between his house in Malibu, his relationship with Chauncey Billups and a supporting cast that's capable of contending for a title, you can already see Boston in his rear-view mirror.

When you balance this offer on a scale, the weight gets evenly distributed. The Celtics need young assets and the Clippers need qualified personnel for a current title run.

Sometimes you have to take risks to get ahead in this league. This would be a good time to strike.