Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said on The Dan Patrick Show that he wasn't interested in playing for the Los Angeles Lakers because of the public spates between Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. While Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo Sports points out that Garnett did not have a no-trade clause (if Minnesota wanted to deal Garnett to Boston for Lamar Odom and whatever remaining assets, they very well could have), but he might have been unwilling to sign an extension in LA, which would've tempered the enthusiasm of the Lakers to pursue him.
Whatever, none of that matters to me that much. What does interest me is how well Kobe and KG would have connected with each other on the court.
Garnett is one of the best defenders in NBA history, bar none. He would've given the Lakers an instant upgrade over Odom, Kwame Brown and young Andrew Bynum (whoever stayed behind in the trade; I'd guess LA would not part with Bynum). If the frontline was Garnett and Bynum, LA would've had the perfect defensive frontcourt to team with Bryant and Derek Fisher. Garnett is also one of the most unselfish power forwards in the league, and could've worked quite beautifully in running and operating the triangle offense. He also would have had few issues deferring to Bryant in the same way Pau Gasol doesn't mind deferring to him now.
Would Garnett and Bryant together have resulted in titles? Hard to say, since losing Odom or Bynum would've left the Lakers pretty thin in terms of their versatility. Imagine this lineup in 2008.
PG - Fisher
SG - Bryant
SF - Ariza/Radmanovic
PF - Garnett
C - Bynum
In terms of the backline, this is probably the best defensive unit in the NBA--Garnett was still very good in 2008. But the offense is clearly going to struggle with young Ariza and Bynum and the one-dimensional shooter Radmanovic. Still, there would be no Celtics in the East to contend with, and Garnett could bang with Duncan and the Spurs in the Conference Finals the way Gasol did. There are lots of factors going into this one, but LA would definitely have been right back in the mix for the NBA Finals.
Additionally, given his recurring knee issues, would the Lakers have ended up with multiple titles? Hard to say, but I doubt you'll see many Laker fans pining for KG.