Kevin Garnett's Refusal to Waive No-Trade Clause Will Delay Celtics' Rebuilding

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 16, 2013

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 13: Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics laughs while sitting on the court after fighting for possession of the ball against the Chicago Bulls during the game on February 13, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Kevin Garnett is perhaps the most popular and beloved current Boston Celtics player, but his refusal to waive his no-trade clause is hurting the team in the long run.

He told USA Today this when asked about the swirling trade rumors involving him:

"If it's up to me, I'm going to live and die green all day."

One reporter indicated it is up to him (referencing the no-trade clause), and Garnett replied:

"OK then, so what are we talking about?"

This surly and stubborn attitude has endeared KG to Celtics nation and made him one of the most disliked players in the NBA, but by not allowing the team to use him as a trade asset he is delaying the inevitable.

The core of this team is too old to win the East—much less the NBA championship.

The rebuilding effort is coming one way or another, but if Danny Ainge could use Garnett and perhaps Paul Pierce as trade assets to more serious contenders. He could acquire assets that make the rebuilding process much less painful for the franchise.

KG is effectively scaring teams away from inquiring about his availability, and by remaining with the team he insures the Celtics will be good enough to contend for a playoff spot.

This in turn hurts the team's potential draft position as long as he's a Celtic.

As of now, the team is seventh in the East with a 28-24 record, and they have won eight of their last 10. All of those games have been played without their star point guard Rajon Rondo.

The Celtics are proving right now that they can win in the regular season without Rondo, but we all know the postseason can be a different story.

Ask the Chicago Bulls how different it is trying to win in the playoffs without your star guard. The Bulls finished with the NBA's best record in the 2011-2012 season despite Derrick Rose missing 27 games.

Without Rose in the playoffs for all but one game, the top-seeded Bulls fell to the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in six games.

The Celtics are better equipped to compete without Rondo than the Bulls were or are without Rose, but don't think they won't miss him.

It may be a bitter pill for Celtics fans to swallow, but KG and Pierce are short-timers.

It would be better for their careers and the future of the Celtics organization if they were moved. They could possibly assist another team in winning a ring, and the Celtics need to start building the foundation for the next chapter.

Rondo, Avery Bradley and perhaps Jeff Green are the only players on the roster that could possibly play major roles in the Celtics' future.

Even the most loyal KG/Celtics fan can't sensibly argue with the notion that the rumored Los Angeles Clippers deal (per Yahoo! Sports) doesn't help the Celtics long-term.

Acquiring Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan would be a boon for the defense and overall team athleticism. It would give the Celtics another point guard and could actually help facilitate a Rondo deal.

As it stands, the Celtics are on the hook for at least $18.4 million of the $24.4 million left on Garnett's three-year deal (Spotrac). He's still playing at a high-level now, but he'll be 37 in May and 39 by the time this deal is done.

This is turning into a terrible contract for the Celtics.

It's not because Garnett is a bum—he's far from it (15.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season). It's because he's not good enough to make the type of impact that will produce the level of success this franchise is used to.

He straps the team financially to a point that makes getting better through free agency unrealistic. Then to top it all off: He won't let you trade him to gain more financial assets.

I don't blame him for controlling his own destiny, it is an enviable position.

But he really isn't helping the team he claims to love.


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