Kevin Garnett Trade Update: Celtics Decide to Retain Star Forward

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 21, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 11:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 11, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics made one relatively minor move prior to Thursday's 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline, but it did not involve moving star forward Kevin Garnett.

Just before the deadline hit, Ainge traded Leandro Barbosa—who suffered an ACL tear earlier in February—and Jason Collins to the Washington Wizards for shooting guard Jordan Crawford to add depth to the rotation, according to a Celtics press release.

GM Danny Ainge decided to retain The Big Ticket, who is in the midst of his 18th season as a pro and continues to serve as the heart and soul of the Celtics' defense.

Trade speculation was rampant involving Garnett, though, especially with regard to a potential deal that would have sent Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers. In exchange, Boston would have received promising young point guard Eric Bledsoe and center DeAndre Jordan.

But, from the outset, Garnett was not having any of it. He already possessed a no-trade clause, but this impassioned denial documented by Yahoo! reporter Marc J. Spears seemed to confirm that KG would stay put:

Garnett is averaging 15 points and 7.6 rebounds for the Celtics and, even with the season-ending ACL injury to star point guard Rajon Rondo, he has displayed the veteran leadership necessary for the squad to continue being a factor in the Eastern Conference postseason picture.

The Celtics have dropped three of their past four games, but won seven in a row prior to that, which is one of the likely reasons Ainge did not blow up the team just yet. After all, a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! indicated that Boston would trade franchise cornerstone Paul Pierce if KG were shipped off, according to sources.

So, if Garnett were to have left, Pierce was allegedly going to be gone too. Much to the delight of the Celtics faithful, both are sticking around for the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign.

As reported by WEEI's Ben Rohrbach, Garnett indicated that the recent All-Star game in Houston was to be the last of his career. That has led some to speculate that this is his final NBA season and he will get the chance hang an 18th championship banner for Boston.

Although Doc Rivers' squad sits in seventh place in the East, this resilient team should not be discounted. After all, anything is possible, right KG?