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The Lakers Had "Handshake Deal" For Kevin Garnett

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Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant are widely regarded as two of the greatest players at their positions.

Imagine if the two played together in their primes? Apparently, that scenario was almost reality back in 2007, when the Lakers reportedly had a "handshake" deal with the Timberwolves for Kevin Garnett. Here is an excerpt from a Lakers related article:

Phil Jackson, Lakers head coach, 1999-2004; 2005-2011: When I realized that [Garnett] was available and wanted to leave Minnesota, I put a big push on (to acquire him).

Andy Miller: Cleveland was involved. They were a distant third in the whole thing.

Glen Taylor: L.A. really wanted him. Well, I didn't know if I wanted him in the West. I thought I was getting better players. I thought L.A could not give me the players that Boston did.

The Lakers offered a package built around multi-skilled forward Lamar Odom and 19-year-old center Andrew Bynum, a promising second-year player who would eventually become an All-Star. Odom had a history of flaky behavior, however, and Bynum was unproven.

The Celtics' package was built around another talented, but still-developing young center, Al Jefferson, along with several other young players and draft picks.

Phil Jackson: Dr. [Jerry] Buss came to me and said, "I have a handshake agreement with Taylor, that he's going to come to L.A. But McHale hasn't concurred yet." So I said, "Well that's a good excuse." You always, as an owner, say, "I'll do this, but ..." So I kept that hope out there, that he was gonna be a part of the Laker organization.

Taylor: Odom, I was a little afraid of. I thought Bynum was gonna be a star.

Miller: I think that what McHale was looking for, on top of picks, was a core young piece, and he was infatuated with Al Jefferson at the time.

Glen Taylor: It became the Lakers, and it became Boston. And they both said, what does [Garnett] want to get paid? And I told them what he wants to get paid. I told them the kind of contract. And those two teams said they would do it.

What a pairing that would have been.

Unfortunately for us, we'll just have to stick to dreaming about it.