You never want to make too much out of rumors that are swirling before the NBA season even officially wraps, but some of the whispers are getting a little too loud to ignore. If you go by the where-there-is-smoke-there-is-fire philosophy as it pertains to hoops gossip, there is a very legitimate possibility that either Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen will end up with the Los Angeles Lakers come the start of next season.
At this point, everyone knows that L.A. wants to make changes. Big changes. Following a second consecutive championship-less campaign, Mitch Kupchak came out and all but guaranteed that Pau Gasol was going to be shopped this summer. If the big Spaniard does get moved, L.A. would have a massive hole at the four that they would need to fill, pronto. That’s presumably where K.G. comes in.
Garnett’s ties to Los Angeles are well documented and, as most people are well aware of by now, he came very, very close to sporting purple and gold a few years ago before the Boston Celtics ultimately brought him in. The notion that he would be interested in teaming up with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers isn’t just baseless gossip – respected basketball writers are acknowledging that it’s a real possibility.
Here is just one of them:
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“There are other possible landing places as well. Maybe the Lakers? Garnett has a home in Malibu, and the Lakers have Kobe Bryant. What they don’t have is cap room, but that can be resolved if they agree to a sign and trade for Pau Gasol.” – Shaun Powell, NBA.com.
That last part probably won’t happen, but it is conceivable that Garnett would take less money to play for the Lakers. He’d have to take less money to play for Boston anyway, and if Danny Ainge opts to go the rebuilding route (as many figure he will), linking up with title contenders would make a lot of sense.
The Allen talk is a bit more questionable.
Yes, there are murmurs that Allen could end up in Los Angeles, however, it’s very hard envisioning him and Bryant on the same team. Plus, the Lakers may not even really want him all that badly. They have bigger holes to patch up.
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Still, some folks are suggesting it's a legit possibility. Here is one of those folks:
“Allen will turn 37 next month, and contenders like the Bulls, Lakers, Knicks and Grizzlies are thought to be interested in pursuing him this summer. The Celtics agree with Allen's assessment of his future and will be interested in bringing him back, after he undergoes surgery to repair the bone spurs in his ankle that limited him throughout the playoffs.” – Ian Thomsen, Sports Illustrated.
Tough to see the Lakers luring him in, but stranger things have happened.
Final verdict, though: if one of the Big 3 comes to the Lakers, it will most likely be Garnett – not Allen.