Kevin Garnett: Why Boston Celtics Star Must Choose 1 More Year over Retirement
The free agent, who was drafted in 1995 and would be entering his 18th season in the league in 2012-13, hasn't yet made up his mind about what he plans to do next year, according to the Boston Herald's Mark Murphy. One way or another, though, it seems he's either playing one more year in green, or he's retiring.
President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said that the team's development this offseason will essentially be on hold until KG makes a choice about his future because that will determine which direction the Celtics go in—whether to reboot for another title run, or whether to begin rebuilding.
Ainge did indicate, however, that the dialogue is flowing. Slowly. He told Murphy:
We’re having conversations with Kevin, but we don’t have any answers on whether he’s coming back or not. I don’t think it will happen quickly. There’s no deadline with Kevin. Kevin is the only free agent we have we can talk to now. We don’t have to wait until July 1 because he’s eligible for an extension. The rest of our players, we have to wait until July 1.
When asked whether KG was considering any other options besides the Celtics or retirement, Ainge told Murphy, "I think that's it. As of right now."
So what do to? By all indications, this year was supposed to be the final year of the Big Three—and in some ways, it will be because it's extremely unlikely that Ray Allen re-signs with Boston.
Prior to this year, it was expected that KG would either move on or retire, but that was before he experienced a career resurgence when head coach Doc Rivers transitioned him from the 4 to the 5, where he played with far more effectiveness in shorter spurts.
KG started playing better, and in April, the team did, too, earning the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and taking the Heat to seven games in the conference finals.
After coming so close to making a return to the NBA Finals, it's hard to see KG walking away. Knowing that this team only needs a couple of pieces in order to contend for a title—and knowing that he could be a part of it for one more year—it's hard to see him hanging it up.
What will Kevin Garnett do?
KG is a bit of a rarity in the NBA. He's exceedingly loyal and isn't someone who is willing to chase rings if it means bouncing around from team to team throughout his career.
When trade rumors first popped up back in 2007, he had absolutely no interest in leaving Minnesota, even though the team that drafted him had missed the playoffs for three straight years and had finished under .500 for two.
Garnett would rather stay in one spot and build a contender, and because of that, he's not going to be interested in joining another team for one year.
It's going to be Boston or nothing, and given the fact that this team can still offer him an opportunity to win—and still needs him to win, as it proved in this year's postseason—it's too soon for him to walk away.
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