T'wolves Owner Says Garnett Trade 'Not a Possibility'
Former MVP Vented Frustration Recently, Adding Fuel to Rumors
By JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Sports
MINNEAPOLIS (March 29) - While Kevin Garnett appears to be growing increasingly impatient with the direction of the Minnesota Timberwolves, owner Glen Taylor says he can't envision a scenario where he would trade the team's only star.
"I do not see that as a possibility," Taylor said Wednesday night before the Timberwolves played the Orlando Magic. "As I stand here, I just don't see a possibility that makes sense."
Speculation about Garnett's future, much of it completely baseless, has swirled for most of the season.
The former MVP has spent his entire 11 seasons in Minnesota and never once has asked for a trade or even hinted at wanting to leave the only organization he's known.
But the rumors ramped up again this week after Garnett spoke out Sunday following a close win over the New York Knicks. He said after that game that he didn't want to go through another "rebuilding" season.
However, he also said he had faith in Taylor to make the right moves in the offseason to turn around a team that will almost assuredly miss the playoffs for a second straight year after making the Western Conference finals in 2004.
"I don't want to go through this any more," Garnett said. "I think I'm more deserving of a better team and I think the city's more deserving of a better team, coming in here having something that's going to be competitive and having us getting back to the Western Conference finals.
But I do know you just can't blink and it's going to happen; you have to actually spend the time and effort. So, we'll see."
In the days that have followed, Garnett's coach and teammates have said the team's unquestioned leader was merely conveying the frustration they all felt.
And on Wednesday night, Taylor said he wasn't surprised by Garnett's comments, and that he has made similar statements to the owner in private conversations this year.
"He is very, very competitive and wants to win," Taylor said.
One of the things that has hindered Taylor from assembling the cast to support Garnett is the superstar's huge contract. Garnett makes $18 million this season, eating up a sizable chunk of the salary cap.
"It makes it difficult, but no more difficult than it has been in the past," Taylor said. "It won't make it impossible."
Taylor has decided to swallow hard and spend more money in the past, getting veterans Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell two years ago. It worked the first year, when they helped Garnett win the MVP award and the Timberwolves had the best record in the West during the regular season.
But things started falling apart last year, and the team missed the playoffs for the first time since 1995-96.
The going has been even tougher this season. The Timberwolves entered the night at 29-41 and have been unable to jell after a major midseason trade with Boston that brought four new players - Ricky Davis, Mark Blount, Marcus Banks and Justin Reed - here and sent Wally Szczerbiak and Michael Olowokandi to the Celtics.
With Garnett turning 30 in May, he isn't getting any younger. And he made it clear on Sunday that he wants things to change.
And Taylor said he welcomes Garnett's ideas.
"I have always valued his input," Taylor said. "He has not surprised me with any of his comments."
03/29/06 21:11 EST
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