Kevin Garnett: 5 Teams That Could Snatch KG Away in Free Agency
Kevin Garnett has reached a crossroad now that his five-year tenure with the Boston Celtics looks to have come to an end with the Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat. At age 36, Garnett must decide whether it's time to retire or ink a new contract somewhere.
That new contract could be generous for Garnett, considering his playoff performance. Garnett averaged 18.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game this postseason while shooting 49.7 percent from the field. Also, he had nine games with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Teams looking to sign Garnett should have $10 million to commit to the 14-time All-Star. At least a few teams look to have money available to spend on Garnett.
Following is a list of teams that could grab the future Hall of Famer in free agency.
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov will be carrying a big stick this offseason, and it's not because he made his billions in the lumber industry. The Nets head into the offseason with just $9.4 million committed to three players for next season.
That leaves them with great opportunities in the offseason, even if Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace return next season.
One such opportunity is Garnett. According to the New York Daily News, the Nets will be going after Garnett.
The Nets will have plenty of money to offer Garnett. Depending on whether Williams and Wallace exercise their player options, the Nets will have four impressive offensive players for Garnett to play with. That includes Anthony Morrow, MarShon Brooks, probably Wallace and perhaps Williams.
Even if Williams doesn't return, the Nets have the money to find a star point guard to attract Garnett to Brooklyn.
Golden State Warriors
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
A surprise candidate in the race for Garnett could be the Golden State Warriors. Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob told the San Francisco Chronicle that the team will be active this offseason.
Lacob and the rest of the Warriors front office can't possibly believe as he implies in the aforementioned article that Andrew Bogut is expected to play a full season alongside David Lee. Bogut has become an injury liability, missing 46 games in 2008-09, 13 in 2009-10, 17 in 2010-11 and 54 in 2011-12.
A safe bet for Golden State would be to pick up a center to start in front of Bogut. Garnett could be that guy. Still a top-10 center to say the least, Garnett is good enough to help the Warriors reach the playoffs. He's still strong on both ends of the floor and capable of making his teammates look better.
Golden State has enough to give him what he wants, with $56.7 million committed to nine players for 2012-13.
The Warriors have plenty of players besides Lee to complement Garnett. Stephen Curry is a promising point guard. Klay Thompson is a nice scorer.
Also, the Warriors have two first-round picks, the first of which could get a hot prospect like Harrison Barnes.
Garnett would likely enjoy playing for defensive-minded coach Mark Jackson.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
The Philadelphia 76ers look to be a good team for the future, but the team needs to reshape its frontcourt. Elton Brand is on the decline. Jodie Meeks and Lavoy Allen have potential, but are free agents.
Getting Garnett could help the 76ers turn the corner. They have good young players in Evan Turner, Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holliday. Andre Iguodala would be another great aid if he's back with the 76ers, as long as they don't trade him.
The 76ers will have plenty to offer Garnett. They have $32.4 million committed for next season. Also, Elton Brand may be amnestied, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
With Garnett, the 76ers could go from being a scrappy team that came across some luck and was able to make the second round of the playoffs this year to an NBA Finals contender next year.
Harry How/Getty Images
The Denver Nuggets had the misfortune of acquiring JaVale McGee in a trade that sent Nene to the Washington Wizards. McGee is talented, but isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. One can point to the time he ran back on defense when his Wizards attained a second chance on offense, among many other confounding plays.
The Nuggets' other centers are Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov, neither of whom are special players.
With so much potential in other areas of their roster, the Nuggets need someone to fill the void up front.
Garnett would be the right guy. With his sustained playing ability and ability to make the most of what's around him, Garnett could help the Nuggets reach their potential. They have plenty of young players, such as Arron Afflalo, Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried, who could benefit from playing with Garnett.
George Karl would certainly be happy to play with a responsible star player like Garnett.
The Nuggets have the money to go after the future Hall of Fame front man. They have just $49 million committed to 12 players.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The Dallas Mavericks weren't exactly in great form while trying to defend their title this season. Dirk Nowitzki was suffering from championship hangover. Lamar Odom acted like he didn't want to be in Dallas. Shawn Marion and Vince Carter each played his age.
The result was a seventh-place finish in the Western Conference and a first-round sweep at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
To get back to contender status, the Mavericks could go after Garnett.
They have the money to get him. Dallas has $54.5 million committed to nine players for next season. They could have more available money if, as ESPNNew York purports may happen, they trade Odom.
The Mavericks could help bring Garnett in if they manage to grab Deron Williams in free agency. Jason Kidd told the Dallas Morning News that he'll try to make that happen.
Garnett could be just the player to wake Nowitzki and his aging team up and bring them deep in the playoffs again. His aggressive play could bring life back to Nowitzki and help others bring their game up.