When asked by a reporter what it was that Garnett wanted, the All-Star forward didn't sidestep the implications of his no-trade clause (via Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald):
“You’re looking at it,” he said after a laugh. “You’re looking at it. I didn’t make this. I didn’t start all this.”
When it was noted again that he is in control, Garnett said, “I’m leaving the liaison to what people think this is. I know my cards. I know my cards. I know the hand I’m holding.”
Somewhat lost in the barrage of trade rumors that have Garnett headed out of Beantown is the fact that the Celtics can't just trade him. He has veto power over any and all deals—a right he exercised when he reportedly declared he would not accept a trade to the Denver Nuggets.
Essentially, when Garnett says "I know my cards," he's admitting he understands that he doesn't have to go anywhere if he doesn't want to; he doesn't have to leave Boston if he doesn't want to.
Remember, this is the same Garnett who returned to the NBA this season to play for Doc Rivers and no one else. Is he about leave the very situation he prolonged his career for when he has the ability not to?
Speculation regarding whether the Celtics will or won't trade Garnett is bound to continue, but the former is far more difficult to actualize than the latter. Complex wouldn't even begin to describe it.
Not only must a team be willing to relinquish young, up-and-coming talent for a 36-year-old big man, but it has to do so knowing he could retire at any point. Few franchises are about to hand over valuable prospects in exchange for an aging player period, let alone one that could turn into essentially a rental. There's always the no-trade clause to consider as well.
Even if the Celtics find a willing and able trade partner, they then have to bring it to Garnett. He could approve the deal and both parties could move on, or he could reject it, fracture his relationship with the organization and ultimately leave them empty-handed at the end of the season.
"That makes two of us," Garnett said when a reporter told him he was living the dream.
No surprises there. After all, we are the author of our dreams.
Clad with a no-trade clause, Garnett is certainly the author of his future with the Celtics. And how it ends is up to him.