Skip to content

Report: If Kevin Garnett wanted to join the Clippers, Chris Paul would have made it happen

Feb 22, 2013, 4:41 PM EDT

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics Getty Images

We know Kevin Garnett is intensely loyal, but Chris Paul and the Clippers certainly put that to the test at the deadline.

Garnett’s situation was unique of other stars that didn’t get dealt at the deadline, mainly because of his no-trade clause. If he wanted to remain a Celtic, that was his prerogative.

Despite what he said in the media about his love for the Celtics, and how he had no interest in waiving his no-trade clause unless Paul Pierce got dealt first, that didn’t stop Chris Paul from trying to lure him to the Clippers, apparently.

According to several accounts, though, talk between Ainge and the Clippers continued right up until the final hours yesterday. Garnett said during All-Star weekend that he would not waive his no-trade clause, and held true to his vow despite added pressure from Clippers guard Chris Paul.

According to a league source, Paul called Garnett and said that if he was open to joining the Clippers, then Paul would make it happen. Garnett, though, declined, expressing a desire to remain a Celtic.

Ainge’s wish list had been topped by the Clippers’ young duo of guard Eric Bledsoe and center DeAndre Jordan. The Clips, with an eye on trading part of the future for a deep playoff run now, focused their attention on Garnett.

But Garnett reportedly said no, to the relief of an entire Celtics locker room.

Via Mark Murphy | Boston Herald

This is what true franchise players do. They play the game off the court, too. They recruit. They plot. They swing their weight around to get things done.

No one has questioned Paul’s power with the Clippers. Wisely so, the Clippers have complied with all his wishes since he joined the team last year. They re-signed Chauncey Billups — a guy Paul adores — as their first act of business this offseason. They’ve brought in former Hornets employees Paul pined for at various levels of the organization.

Paul has that level of persuasion in part because he’s not committed to the team yet. While no one around the team expects Paul to leave in free agency this season, the threat is present until he signs an extension. That left Paul with some unique power at the deadline — if Garnett would have been amenable to it, he could have gone to the front office and said, “Go get Kevin Garnett, and I’ll sign my extension.” The Clippers front office would have little choice but to acquiesce to Paul’s desires. They know where their bread is buttered.

It’s an interesting lesson in NBA politics and seniority, if nothing else. You see the three levels of power.

Blake Griffin, who is signed with the Clippers long-term, probably wouldn’t have much influence had it come to that. DeAndre Jordan is his best friend and going “all-in” and sacrificing young talent probably wouldn’t be in his best future interests, but he wouldn’t have the power to stop it.

Chris Paul had the power, even if it was only implied and never spoken, to get what he wanted at the deadline.

But of course, Kevin Garnett, who paid his dues in Minnesota all those years, held the ultimate power of being able to decide where he wanted to play.

How different would things be if Garnett didn’t have that power? We’ll never know.

Latest Posts
  1. Pau Gasol: Marc Gasol signing with the Knicks is ‘possible’

    Oct 30, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony

    Bulls center has discussed Phil Jackson with his younger brother

  2. Dominant Pau Gasol shows he may be a perfect fit for Bulls

    Oct 30, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Pau Gasol Pau Gasol

    Gasol was dominant opening night, and Derrick Rose is thrilled to finally have some help.

  3. Klay Thompson becomes eligible for higher qualifying offer

    Oct 30, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT

    Ben McLemore, Klay Thompson Ben McLemore, Klay Thompson

    Warriors shooting guard met starter criteria in game against Kings

  4. Rajon Rondo apparently took subway to Celtics’ opener

    Oct 30, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Rajon Rondo Rajon Rondo

    Celtics point guard photographed in T station

  5. Andrew Wiggins first NBA bucket was quality catch-and-shoot three (VIDEO)

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    Timberwolves New Players Getty Images

    Rough first night in the NBA to be guarded by Tony Allen.

  6. Wednesday night’s NBA winners, losers: Chris Bosh wants you to know he is a No. 1 option

    Oct 30, 2014, 2:45 AM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Miami Heat Getty Images

    Good night to be the Trail Blazers. Not so much for Kobe Bryant.

  7. Bulls cruise to 24-point opening night win over Knicks

    Oct 29, 2014, 11:57 PM EDT

    Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks

    Taj Gibson and the second unit took control of this one.

  8. Isaiah Thomas said he had interest in signing with Lakers

    Oct 29, 2014, 11:13 PM EDT

    Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz Getty Images

    While the Lakers were flirting with ‘Melo, the Suns came knocking for Thomas.

  9. Kemba Walker did it again! (video)

    Oct 29, 2014, 9:51 PM EDT

    Kemba Walker, Jabari Parker, Brandon Knight Kemba Walker, Jabari Parker, Brandon Knight

    Hornets point guard hits game-winning jumper in overtime against Bucks

  10. Mavericks sign J.J. Barea, waive Gal Mekel

    Oct 29, 2014, 8:33 PM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves

    Barea helped Dallas win 2011 championship, but how much does he have left in the tank?

  11. Young Tom Brady dressed a Celtic?

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT

    Young Tom Brady dressed as a Celtic

  12. Carmelo Anthony has cameo in latest “Sons of Anarchy” (VINE)

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT

    Washington Wizards v New York Knicks Washington Wizards v New York Knicks

    Here’s your chance to see ‘Melo as a knife-wielding henchman.

Featured video

The list of championship contenders
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. B. Beal (8237)
  2. K. McDaniels (7730)
  3. R. Rondo (7399)
  4. K. Durant (7207)
  5. L. Sanders (6567)