MINNEAPOLIS (MCT) - The latest Kevin Garnett trade rumors are flying very high. Will they touch down at Los Angeles International Airport?
That's the latest. In a report in the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers and Wolves have been talking - a fact confirmed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The reported deal would send Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom and a third player, perhaps Kwame Brown, to the Wolves and send Garnett a lot closer to his beach house in Malibu, Calif.
Actually, that's the latest incarnation of a story that changed nearly by the hour late Monday afternoon.
Neither Wolves VP of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale nor owner Glen Taylor returned phone messages seeking comment.
According to the Times, the Lakers' interest in placating Kobe Bryant began as a multiteam deal that would also have included Indiana and Boston, before Boston reportedly pulled out.
Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said he wasn't aware of any such talks, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on its Web site. But word out of Indianapolis is the Pacers did talk to the Lakers at one point Monday; team President Larry Bird is in charge of player personnel moves, and it's conceivable talks never got to the point where Walsh had to be brought up to date.
Regardless, the talks, according to the Times, narrowed to involving only the Lakers and Wolves.
Although talks might continue, it doesn't appear that trading Garnett in this scenario would satisfy the Wolves' desire to get younger and get more draft choices.
There is youth; Bynum, for example, is still 19. He's an athletic big man, but he's raw, coming off a second NBA season that started strongly but ended with him struggling. Odom, 27, is a seasoned veteran and Brown, 25, would be a player entering the final year of his contract.
But the Lakers' draft pick Thursday is No. 19 overall, not a big bargaining chip even in a year with a deep draft.
Looking at what the Lakers have to offer, it appears at least one other team would have to be brought into the mix in order to satisfy the Wolves' needs.
Talks are expected to continue on Tuesday.
The Times report describes an interesting timeline that began late last week, shortly after Garnett's agent, Andy Miller, quashed a rumored deal with Boston by saying his client didn't want to play for the Celtics.
Then came an ESPN report that Garnett wanted to play for the Suns, but Phoenix General Manager Steve Kerr told reporters Friday that a deal would be difficult to get done because of Garnett's immense contract.
Bryant, who has been vocal in his desire for a trade, met with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak for an hour shortly thereafter. Kupchak, Lakers owner Jerry Buss and coach Phil Jackson met shortly after that.
Then, according to the Times, Buss and Taylor talked on the phone for 20 minutes, a conversation that reportedly ended with Buss suggesting Kupchak and McHale continue talking Monday.
This is the latest in a line of rumored deals that began last week in Boston and moved to Phoenix by the weekend.
Will this one have more legs?
According to the Times, Buss is willing to sign Garnett to an extension should he come to the Lakers. Garnett is scheduled to make $22 million in the upcoming season (with a 15 percent trade kicker), and he has a player option for $24 million in 2008-09.
Bynum averaged 7.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season, in which he started 53 games for Los Angeles.
Odom is a skilled ballhandling forward who averaged 15.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 2006-07. But he missed 26 games because of injuries and required postseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Brown became the first high school player to be taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft when he was taken first by the Washington Wizards in 2001. But he has never lived up to that potential, averaging 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds over his six-year career.
Taylor, of course, would have to sign off on any potential deal. If one is reached after Tuesday, that will require a long-distance call. The recently wed Taylor was scheduled to fly to China on Tuesday afternoon for his honeymoon.
(c) 2007, Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.