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Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles Would Make Clippers Western Conference Favorites

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 27:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers guards Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics during the game at Staples Center on December 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  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 Harry How/Getty Images)
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Benjamin KleinContributor IIIJune 17, 2013

The Los Angeles Clippers need one more star in order become Western Conference favorites, and the player that would push them over the hump is Kevin Garnett.

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin—along with the Clippers' role players—clearly aren’t getting the job done. Two years ago, the Clippers lost in the West Semifinals. This season, Los Angeles won 56 games and was ousted from the playoffs in the first round.

Los Angeles didn’t feel that Vinny Del Negro was the coach who could help the team make a deep run into the playoffs, so the Clippers nixed him. Now, the Clippers are seeking a coach with the potential to take the franchise to the NBA Finals and potentially win a championship.

But while the coaching search is well underway, Los Angeles still needs to address the talent on the roster. Paul, a free agent, is the first priority. Eric Bledsoe is good, but he isn’t the answer right now. Paul is an All Star who, with help, can help the Clippers win more than 55 games per season.

The Clippers are attempting to do what the Boston Celtics and, more recently, the Miami Heat have done: combine three stars and let them go to work. Boston had Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, and they won a championship. Miami has LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, and they won a championship—and might win another this year.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles tweeted that the Clippers are on the lookout for that third star and have a couple of names in mind:

The big name on the rumor mill lately, though, is Garnett, who could end up in Los Angeles very soon. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Celtics and Clippers are discussing a deal that would send Garnett and head coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles. He also reports that Garnett would waive his no-trade clause.

Acquiring a big-name coach like Rivers while also adding a star like Garnett “will lock up the re-signing of free agent superstar Chris Paul,” writes Wojnarowski.

If the deal gets done, the Clippers would have their own version of a Big 3, which would include Paul, Griffin and Garnett. On paper, that sounds very good. The Clippers would still need to have a solid shooting guard and small forward, but in general, Los Angeles would become an even more dangerous franchise.

Player MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG PER
Blake Griffin 32.5 18.0 8.3 3.7 1.2 0.6 22.4
Chris Paul 33.4 16.9 3.7 9.7 2.4 0.1 26.4
Kevin Garnett 29.7 14.8 7.8 2.3 1.1 0.9 19.2
*Statistics provided by Basketball-Reference

The trio would have the potential to score around 50 points per night while dominating the glass and playing stellar defense. 

By re-signing Paul and acquiring Garnett, the Clippers could easily have the top team in the Western Conference. The Oklahoma City Thunder are very talented, but several teams have figured out how to beat them. The San Antonio Spurs might end up winning the title this year, but their time is quickly running out.

Outside of those two teams, who else stands in the way of the Clippers?

No one.

By completing this rumored deal and then re-signing Paul, the Clippers would have a formidable collection of players capable of taking Los Angeles further than it’s ever gone. The Clippers have never made an appearance in the NBA Finals. With Griffin, Paul and Garnett, the chances of that happening in 2013-14 skyrocket.

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