Right now, it is very possible that five years into the future, Kevin Garnett will be in a mansion's den, by himself, shaking his fist after an interview, knowing that the day his career died was when he changed his number after the Minnesota-Boston trade.
Kevin Garnett will wear #5 for the Boston Celtics. He will wear this number because #21 is not available for use. Players will sometimes gravitate back to their high school or college numbers, but KG did not play college basketball, and at least one other number in his life, #34, is currently used by teammate and other-star Paul Pierce. As for why #5, I don't know, but numbers mean something to these people of great physical skill. There will probably be some story, since it becomes a still-superstar like Kevin.
Boston's depth is horrible because of the trade. Sending multiple players to match the salary percentage of the gargantuan-sized salary of Kevin Garnett leaves Boston with a front line of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Kendrick Perkins. Boston is seriously thin at the most important positions of point guard and center. Should Boston play Kevin at center? I don't think it's a smooth idea because centers take poundings even in this finesse-headed league, and Kevin's already looking at the latter half of his career. Playing center's a great way to cut his career short.
Minnesota has a bag of extras from a horrible Boston club, plus two first round picks. Unfortunately, Minnesota's general manager remains Kevin McHale. There's possibility that Minnesota can work an iffy division and contend for a division crown with the over-stock of what they have, if Kevin selects the right players to pare from the current surplus. Minnesota, however, will easily languish in the NBA toilet. If that happens, however, there's always a chance at some potential superstar like O.J. Mayo, since next year's draft will probably have less hype and enough talent, should the T-Wolves remain my current nickname of Toilet Paper Wolves.
Unfortunately, Boston's timetable for a championship is, suddenly, now. Even if Ainge added Chris Webber, they're stuck as a team if just one of these mega-stars misses extended time from injury. The other problem is the current coach, Doc Rivers.
Doc's been awarded Coach of the Year, but they give that to anyone who manages to have his name attached to a team that wins a ton of games when they're not expected. More often than not, the COTY in the NBA has nothing to do with a coach's quality. Doc's got talent, but I've watched this guy lose in the first round with Tracy McGrady back in his Orlando Magic coaching days. Doc's got a suitable lineup for his ability, but Doc's not likely to come up with brilliant floor plans on the fly when it's crunch time in the season-deciding games.
One way Boston could improve is to hire a man like Rick Carlisle, who was recently dismissed from the Pacers. I won't presume to say that Carlisle or anyone else available right now is an upgrade, but one thing I do know is that Carlisle has been pulling off amazing results with just one-two solid guys and a bunch of role players for the entire decade. His one bad year, last year, came at the end of a Pacers run which featured Jermaine O'Neal on the shelf and a bunch of green-horns who really didn't equal the potency of their highlight year of Reggie Miller, Al Harrington, Jermaine, and Ron Artest. The only problem is that Boston just landed Kevin, will probably have to sign a multiple-year extension of Kevin's contract that is about as insane as his current salary, and Ainge has already extended Doc's contract.
There's a lot of high hopes going around Boston Nation, the internet, and across North America with the announcement of this trade. I caution against getting involved with such notion.