Riddle Me This. . .We want to thank the Salary Cap guru Larry Coon for writing this article exclusively for GetGarnett.com. Many out there wonder what trades are possible and could we do such trades under the salary cap. This article will help you understand all the elements involved in a Garnett-to-Lakers trade.

The Lakers have long been rumored to be interested in acquiring Kevin Garnett. If such a trade were to be put together, four criteria must be satisfied:

1) Minnesota must decide to put KG on the market, either through altruism (accommodating a trade request from Garnett) or as part of a rebuilding process.

2) They must get enough back in trade that they’re better off trading him than keeping him or at least they wouldn’t lose their shirts by doing KG the favor of trading him.

3) The Lakers would have to provide enough in trade to overcome the same-conference bias (teams prefer sending star players to the opposite conference), and potentially have to beat competing offers from other teams. This would be made somewhat easier if KG specifically requests a trade to the Lakers (and the Timberwolves are willing to accommodate him), but this isn’t guaranteed.

4) Finally, any trade would have to be legal per the rules of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

For the purpose of this analysis, I’m going to assume the first three criteria are satisfied, let’s say Garnett goes to Glen Taylor, asks to be traded to the Lakers, and Taylor agrees to try to get it done. I’m going to concentrate on the fourth criterion, putting together a trade that’s legal.

I’m not going to review all the trade rules here. If you would like to review all the rules surrounding NBA trades, I encourage you to read my FAQ at http://www.cbafaq.com.

I’m going to make several assumptions:

* Any trade will include Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom. This is not to say that Minnesota absolutely would not consummate a trade that doesn’t include both Lakers; however it’s a safe bet that they would want both.

* The Lakers would not include Kobe Bryant in any trade. They have the ability to include Luke Walton via sign-and-trade (after July 1), but would prefer not to do so.

* The Timberwolves would not be interested in Vladimir Radmanovic.

* The Lakers will be willing to send one or more draft picks. However, for the purpose of this analysis, I will ignore draft picks, since they count $0 for trading purposes.

* Teams may include up to $3 million cash in any trade. However, cash does not factor into trades for salary matching purposes, so I will ignore cash as well.

* Garnett stands to earn a trade bonus if he is traded (15% of his remaining salary). However, he has the option of waiving a portion of his trade bonus, to the extent necessary to make a trade legal. I’m going to assume he’s willing to do so.

* Kwame Brown stands to earn a trade bonus (7.5% of his remaining salary), and may also waive a portion of it in order to make a trade legal. I’m going to assume Brown is not willing to waive his bonus.

* Three (or more) team trades are possible, but I’m going to concentrate on two-team trades.

* The luxury tax might be a factor for the Lakers as the result of a Garnett trade, but this does not affect the legality of any trade, so I’m ignoring the luxury tax.

* Since Brian Cook was recently extended, his contract is difficult to trade. He’s what’s called a “poison pill player” prior to July 1 and a “base year compensation” player after July 1. This doesn’t preclude him from being included in any deal, but it does mean we need to be careful. As outgoing salary for the Lakers, Cook counts $1,817,141 both before and after July 1. As incoming salary for Minnesota, Cook counts $3,079,285 before July 1 and $3,500,000 after July 1.

* While not a requirement, teams generally prefer acquiring fewer extra bodies. For example, if presented with a three-for-one trade and a four-for-one trade, teams would prefer the three-for-one, assuming the basketball content is roughly equal.

Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, let’s see what trades are legal. Since the salaries have to be close (teams over the cap can acquire no more than 125% plus $100,000 of the salary they trade away), we have to pay attention to what each player makes. Raises take effect on July 1, and this further complicates the analysis. Garnett’s salary is $21,000,000 prior to July 1, and $22,000,000 after July 1. This means (subtracting $100,000 and dividing by 1.25) that the Lakers would need to send away at least $16,720,000 if the trade were completed before July 1, and $17,520,000 if it were completed after July 1.

Bynum and Odom together make $14,378,876 prior to July 1, and $15,420,596 after July 1. This means we have a gap to fill, the Lakers have to send an extra $2,341,124 before July 1, or $2,099,404 after July 1. This can be accomplished by sending extra players.

Teams cannot trade players who will be free agents, or who could possibly become free agents due to an option. If the Lakers were to complete a trade prior to July 1, then the only players they could include would be (with 2006-07 salaries) Kwame Brown ($8,287,500), Brian Cook ($1,817,141), Maurice Evans ($1,620,000), Jordan Farmar ($939,120), Ronny Turiaf ($664,209) and Sasha Vujacic ($973,920). Radmanovic ($5,215,000) is also available, but as I said, I’m avoiding him.

In order to bridge the $2,341,124 gap, Kwame Brown could be included. But for a number of reasons, Minnesota might prefer to pass on Kwame. Instead they would likely ask for Farmar and Evans. The Lakers might counter with Vujacic and Evans, reasoning that if they’re including Bynum, then they’re not including Farmar.

Therefore, the first two legal trades I will propose are the two above:

TRADE #1: Odom, Bynum, Evans and Farmar for Garnett.

TRADE #2: Odom, Bynum, Evans and Vujacic for Garnett.

If the Lakers wait until after July 1, then they need to use 2007-08 salaries, and the gap (after Odom and Bynum) decreases to $2,099,404. The other Lakers also get raises: Brown ($9,075,000), Cook ($1,817,141 base-year), Evans ($1,740,000), Farmar ($1,009,560), Turiaf ($770,610), Vujacic ($1,756,951). So the same trades that were legal before July 1 are also legal after July 1.

In addition, the Lakers have the ability (with the player’s cooperation) to sign their free agents to a new contract for the purpose of including him in a trade. The contract must be for at least three seasons, but only the first season needs to be guaranteed. This therefore becomes a relatively cheap way to add salary ballast in order to make a trade legal. For example Aaron McKie (who is probably about to retire anyway) could be signed for $2,099,404 and included in any deal. This gives rise to my third trade:

TRADE #3: Odom, Bynum, McKie (re-signed for $2,099,404) for Garnett (after July 1).

Minnesota might look at any Garnett trade as an opportunity to unload an extra bad contract. They could tell the Lakers, “if you want KG, then you have to take Marco Jaric with him.” So lets look at trades that bring back Jaric with KG.

Together, Garnett and Jaric make $26,525,000 before July 1, and $28,050,000 after July 1. This means the Lakers need to trade away at least $21,140,000 before July 1, and $22,360,000 after July 1. The gap (after Odom & Bynum) is $6,761,124 before July 1, and $6,939,404 after July 1.

If the Timberwolves are able to unload Jaric’s large, long-term contract, then they might be more willing to take on Kwame Brown, who’s signed for just one more season. This gives rise to my fourth proposed trade, which is legal either before or after July 1:

TRADE #4: Odom, Bynum and Brown for Garnett and Jaric.

Are any of these trades actually feasible? I’ve long since given up on trying to read GM’s minds. At the very least, these trades are legal, and could serve as the baseline for any discussion.

  • TIME

    I’ll take Option #3 please! ;-)

  • shAke

    great read… thanks!

  • Just_A_Laker_Fan

    Not easy for the Lakers especially if they are letting both Odom and Bynum in a trade including who ever else is included in the package deal. All though I would love to have Garnett in any cost we also lose Lamar which creates problem with other small fowards out there. We might have a good chance with Gasol but trading two good players especially one just 19 years old and 7’0″ that might have potential down the road it’s hard. But if Lakers want him they have to pay for it.

  • http://www.oogle.com brother

    dannng.. giving up toooo much.



    Laker fan over Kobe fan any day.

  • http://www.kb24.com darkice18

    keep lamar

  • http://yahoo.com Christopher

    Great idea in the thid trade option

  • Kobe Needs Help

    Wow. If we could do trade option #2 or #3 and then deal Kwame and the 19th pick for Artest, we’d be unstoppable. Gotta put down the pipe though. KG isn’t coming to LA.

  • Regulator31

    I would take option 3 with a twist.
    They might be willing to take Walton via S&T.

  • Martin

    I like all the options, but I especially like the option which includes Marco Jaric and Kwame Brown. Jaric is a big point guard (6’7 I believe), which Phil has always loved. He can shoot from deep, which the Lakers also need. While he is making too much money for what he brings to the court, he could be a perfect fit in the Lakers backcourt.

  • Jazzgear

    No deal….No trade that includes both Bynum and Odom. We’d be in the same situation as today. Yeah, maybe we win 2 or 3 games in the 1st round. Is that any better?

  • marlon cruz

    loving the 3rd option trade

  • http://www.bisonville.com CC


    KG is adding on to his house in Lake Minnetonka.

    and he’s hanging at the metrodome 1st row sect 127.

    Sorry L.A

  • Fredo

    If we do trade for Garnett, we cannot, we must not, trade Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum. Trade either or, but not both. And I would rather keep Lamar because he is integral to the triangle. I mean getting an up and comming center that more than half of the league wants should be more than enough incentive to trade for KG. Minnesota has already gone as far as it can with KG, so they owe it to him and themselves to start over, and what better way with a position that is the hardest to fill, plus a couple of draft pics in one of the deepest drafts.

  • warren (philippines)

    I like how Larry Coon set-up the argument. Bottom line will be: Is Minny ever going to give up Garnett? I would personally take another path given the chance but What was proposed was actually reasonable.

    If I were given the chance to play Mitch the Cupcake, heres what I’d do:

    1. Re-sign Luke Walton (4M), Ronny Turiaf (2M) and Mihm (2M) to 3 year contracts thru their Bird Rights. Mihm with 1st year guarantee only due to health reasons.
    2. Package Radmanovic and the #40 pick to Minny for Mike James. They have the same contract anyway and Minny gets a free player in return.
    3. Trade Brian Cook for a second rounder in 2009 to Charlotte or any other team who is under the cap. Dumping 3.5M in salary in the process.
    3. Acquire Ron Artest via Kwame Brown the 19th pick.
    4. Trade Sasha Vujacic the #48 pick to Detroit for Flip Murray (after exercising player option) worth 1,890,000.

    We will then be fielding this lineup:

    PG – Farmar / Mike James /
    SG – Kobe / Flip Murray /
    SF – Artest / Walton / Evans
    PF – Odom / Turiaf /
    C – Bynum / Mihm /

    5. Free up 10M in the payroll by seasons’ end to accommodate KG next year when he opts out.

  • gstoneballer

    u guyz seem to be me missing the point…. Keep on saying we cant trade both. We have these guys for 3 seasons and respectfully. Odom is never consitent, and bynum plays with no heart and is disrespectful to PJ. Keeping Odom and Bynum will lead us in teh same spot we are now.. Getting smashed by the suns. The lakers need a major shake up. A guy like Garnett is a perfect fit. Now ur telling me you wouldnt trade bynum odom pics and fillers for garnet. Then turn around and trade for Artest. Look at that roster. Farmar, KObe, Artest, Garnett, and either Mihm or Maggloire at center. Your telling me that keeping Bynum and Odom wil put up more wins than tat line up. Thats who is really smoking. The thing is, it cost to get better. If they dont make a move and wait, then it myte work it myte not. the cost is wasting Kobe and is paitence with the organzation. U get help and u have a shot to go for a ring as well as make kobe happy. Mind you, we traded an all-start for Kwame Brown, as it seems Mitch made a second horrific move. But u know at the end of te day, i think we as laker fans are too hard on Mitch, if you think about it, he is just a pawn for jerry and Jim Buss. He takes teh heat for all of Buss’s moves. Buss makes the choices not Kupcheck, tats why Jerry West left, cuz Buss wants to call the shots. the time is now for the lakers to do something, and like Kobe says they have to do it Now, or the franchise could find them self in bigger disarey ten they are ryte now.

  • http://yahoo STANDFAN

    hi der! this is a good site for all those die hard
    Laker maniacs!!!:) its good to hear that we have a
    site were we can voice out contrasting opinions as
    how we see our beloved Lakers. i’ve been a fan
    since i came to my mother’s womb! i truly believe
    the Los Angeles Lakers is the best franchise in
    all of

    On the topic of Kevin Garnett going to the Lakers,
    much as a I would like to be as optimistic as
    possible, I really think that it is a very remote
    posssibility. I really think that its more of
    thinking..Remember, Kevin Mchale is a CELTIC and
    definitely will oppose any trade involving Garnett
    LA. And that’s also the same with Jermaine
    whose GM is, guess who? Celtic legend LARRY BIRD.
    let’s not close our windows, maybe, for the right
    pieces, they will agree with a trade.

    The one thing that I really think is more viable
    PAU GASOL going to the Lakers. I think that’s a
    easier deal to make. Since what we need is at
    an inside presence to compliment Kobe Bryant. And
    Gasol can be the answer. Why? its because most of
    Gasol’s points is more from the inside while
    and O’neal settles for jump shots. And he is a
    consistent 20/10 guy. He is not injury prone and
    much younger. And his salary is much more cheaper
    easy to deal with. Though he is 0-12 in the
    that mental toughness can be remedied by Kobe and
    Jackson, who happens to be one of the best in this

    God Bless to us all!! HOPE YOU CAN POST THIS EMAIL



  • gstoneballer

    one more thing… stop with the lets trade Farmar. Come on he is the best pg on the lakers roster and he is 20. He has a brighter future than Bynum, cuz farmar has alread proven he can play and always plays his butt off. He isnt ready to b a starter and star yet. but lets say j-kidd in La, would be a good mento. I say the lakers either get Artest and Kidd, or Artest and Garnett. Kidd and Artest are way more likely. BUt who knows what will happen. only time will tell.. but we have to keep farmar

  • http://yahoo STANDFAN

    get gasol instead of garnett or J.O.


    Amazing article. I’d definately take Trade #2.

    Charlie Bell
    Kobe Bryant
    Ron Artest
    Kevin Garnett
    Jammal Magloire

    is what our roster could look like next season. Suns got nothing on us, Garnett will run over Amare, Artest will hold down their backcourt, and Kobe… will be Kobe. I know theirs probably a 10% chance of our lineup looking anywhere close to that, but we can always dream.

  • Just_A_Laker_Fan

    Most likely, Gasol will be the trade that might happen then Garnett, although I want Garnett. Gasol is cheaper and younger. With players such as Odom and Kobe will do a lot more damage then people think. Yes Odom is inconsistent at times but you have to mind the injuries he has and especially the death of his child. Now if the Lakers do get Gasol and let say trade Brown with Artest down low we become a very deep low post team and also increase our defends and offence. Now we have Kobe, Odom, Artest, Farmar and Gasol. A really tough team to defend and contain when they play the Triangle. Trading Farmar isn’t a good trade, has a lot of potential and have you ever since Phil play a rookie that much?? I don’t think so, so trading him isn’t great. Now trading Brown along with a player let say Sasha or Cook to the Kings for Artest; not only the Kings have the ability to let Brown go because he just have one year left on his contract can put them with free with the Salary Cap….. I know a lot of people aren’t into Odom but I think he has much more to give then some people think. Now having Artest and Gasol and Odom down low becomes such a killer inside game….. Small foward Odom, Power Foward Artest, and Center Gasol, man I wouldn’t see how some teams can match them with the Lakers….

  • Steve O

    i think i’ve got the most awesome scenario no one has said yet. how about whoever gets the #1 pick in the draft trades it away. you would this this would be impossible and never happen, but houston did pass on reggie bush did they not? so how bout lakers trade up to #1 by offering Bynum & Walton or some other Bynum & young guy combo in order to draft Greg Oden. that would be sooooo sick.

  • gamble84

    So the Lakers would be:

    PG: Farmar
    SG: Kobe
    SF: Walton
    PF: KG
    C: Kwame

    This team still wouldn’t beat the Suns. We need more help than just KG.

    If we could get Artest without losing LO, then we may have a squad.

  • U-Borat

    Is there a way of getting KG, Blount and Jaric?

    Blount is another bad contract, while a very servicable player…

    So Kwame, Odom and Bynum, 19 pick and 3 mill cash as the base….Add the filler required to get KG Blount and Jaric…

    Filler being something like a resigned McKie for whatever the difference is….
    Sign Bell/Dimandatis with the MLE…


  • Kobe_Rizvanolli

    if we deal both odom and bynum than we have to forget kidd. we need a veteran that plays like young. or hope to sign mo williams as a free agent.


    [quote comment=”220″]keep lamar[/quote]
    Say it again…KEEP LAMAR!!!Say it one more time…KEEP LAMAR!!!

  • Just_A_Laker_Fan

    Yes I like the line up of

    These guys alone pulls down 10 rebounds a game and with Kobe with the ball he can make plays for these guys. So if the Kings trade Artest for just Brown and we pick up either Gasol or Jermaine I think that line up would go to the finals. You know they can score and you know they can defend what we didn’t have for the past three years….

  • http://www.sportsculturebank.com HeHateMe

    If Lakers want KG, they need to send some type of combo of expiring deals, young players and draft picks…

    Without looking at ESPN.com’s trade machine.. something along the lines of Bynum/Kwame Brown and other salaries to match plus couple first round picks for KG. There is no way Minnesota is going to trade him away unless Bynum is included. Odom isn’t what the Wolves will be looking for. If they trade Garnett, they want/need to get young.

  • kenshi1023

    I think the comment by warren (philippines) is most favorable for the lakers. “Get KG at all costs” can be a dubious transaction when you are giving up Bynum AND Odom. Upgrade the backcourt and stack the bench this offseason with reasonable trades and sign KG when he opts out is the best way to building the next Lakers Dynasty. I read a report on ESPN that makes a lot of sense why KG won’t ask to be traded; he is loyal to his team, something you rarely find in the league (or any sports) these days. So trading for him seems unlikely than signing him as a free agent. And if Kobe can’t wait and wont be a team player for that, then I am disappointed to say that I am a Lakers fan first. How come no one even dare dream up a trade involving Kobe?

  • Just_A_Laker_Fan

    Odom and Bynum and another one and/or two player has to be part of the trade. Now by upgrading our bench off season you just can’t because we have everyone under contract and you can waive players because you still have to pay them even though they are not playing for the team (for example Brian Grant). Upgrading means we have to trade more people or in a worst to worst scenario pick up players from the D-League. Unless other players are willing to play for just one to two seasons with little pay.

    Now it’s most likely I see Garnett with opt out on his contract then being traded. Meaning we can do is get Artest from the Kings, keep the players like Odom and Bynum and wait for KG to opt and sign with the lakers…. So if the only trade was Artest the line up will look like

    Chris or Bynum.

    That’s if they are planning if Garnett doesn’t get traded. I believe they will resign back Chris because unsure if the trade with Bynum will happen…. Although not a bad line up still not a championship team unless they do get a big name down low. Just image if Garnett did opt out and signs with the Lakers, we actually kept our players and didn’t have to trade. But that’s a big risk meaning we might give up a chance to get Gasol or Jermaine for guys down low. I know Bynum is young and probably will get better down the road, I don’t think Artest and Bynum will work out that much. But I could be wrong…..

    I am pretty sure something is going to happen just we have a lot of scenario that might happen or not going to go anywhere. They can take the risk not trading any big guys like Garnett or Gasol or Jermaine. Pick up Artest if Kings are willing to trade with LA for K. Brown. It’s very much a long shot and not sure the Lakers shouldn’t miss that opportunity when you can get guys coming in. Hey if they did traded for Gasol/Jermaine and Artest and Garnett decided to opt out and sign with the Lakers, that’s some kind of line up right?


    Now think something like that if that happens??

  • http://www.bisonville.com CC

    KG aint coming.. he’s workin on his house in lake minnetonka

    and going to twins game front row baby!!

  • Ant

    we’ll be giving up too much for KG..

  • kobeguru

    What about a three team trade?

  • the clucka

    the perfect scenario: find a way to trade for gasol without giving up lamar because gasol is cheaper than garnett and oneal. then trade kwame and a couple other players for ron artest. and then sign a point guard with the mle. hopefully mo williams. if we can get gasol and artest, im pretty sure mo would want to come to the lakers for less money because this is the best chance to win a championship.

    then our starting lineup would be:
    C- pau gasol
    PF – lamar odom
    SF – ron artest
    SG – kobe bryant
    PG – mo williams

    kobe would definitely not have to carry all the weight on his shoulders offensively or defensively if we find a way to assemble this team.

    i would say theres a very small chance that even one of those transactions will go through. so i wouldnt be counting on it because you might be let down if the laker management doesnt make any drastic moves.

    either way, our first priority should be getting a big man without trading odom. if we cant do that, then we have to try to get a rashard lewis or a gerald wallace or a jason kidd or a mike bibby

  • Just_A_Laker_Fan

    Hey the clucka, most likely it was to deal with Bynum so we don’t have to trade Odom. But if they pick up Oden in the NBA draft, then they might now go for that trade…. Not sure but I heard Gasol wants to leave and get traded… So if things goes what the Lakers and pick up Gasol if the Garnett trade doesn’t happen…..

  • http://yahoo.com ron

    It all boils down to this, If Dr. Buss is serious enough about what was said on “Lakers Live” when it was mentioned that he would PAY A LUXURY TAX on the payroll. He could obtain K.G. and/or Jermaine O’Neal without the loss of Lamar Odom. The release of future 1st round draft choices for the next couple of years could also be an attractive offer for a rebuilding team. Kobe also should think about restructuring his contract a bit. How bad do you want to win Kobe???

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  • Lakers22

    I say do not trade the following players: Kobe, Farmar, Turiaf, Bynum, Luke.

    Keep or Trade:

    Odom (Inconsistent), Brown(Will never use his potential), Mihm, Parker (all offense NO Defense, Disrespects Jackson), Cook (Disrepects Jackson and slow)

    Trade for Garnette, Bibby, Artes, Gasol, J.O.

    If we cannot get Garnette.

    Then try for J.O.

    If both Fails

    Get Bibby, Artes and Gasol

    Get Bibby for his experience and Point Guard Ability and three pointers. Second, I believe that Artes (lockdown defender) is one of the keys that the Lakers need and two Gasol will provide the extra offense that we need when Kobe is not on the floor.

  • MartinGT