Kevin Garnett balled out during the NBA playoffs. Next year would be his 18th NBA season however, and he’s 36 years old. He is on the books for just over $20 million next year too, and is contemplating retirement. If he does retire, or his rights are renounced by the Celtics, $20 million dollars is quite a number for Danny Ainge to work with. The Celtics are rebuilding, and that could go a long way towards helping that effort.
Kevin Garnett being around one more season can also help that effort, if he wants to be. Or if he can be. Free agency opens on July 1st, and the clock will start ticking then for KG. In an interview this week with Boston sports radio, Danny Ainge said he does not necessarily expect Garnett to make his decision right away either. This via ESPN Boston:
“Kevin and I had a good conversation last week and the conversation was mostly on how he needs time before he makes that decision,” Ainge said during an in-studio appearance Wednesday afternoon on Boston sports radio WEEI-93.7 FM. “I think we’ll talk within the next week, but I’m not so sure that’s a decision day for him. He may want to wait and see what sort of team we have. I’m not sure.
If Garnett needs additional time for a decision, it puts Boston in a tough spot with both the NBA draft approaching later this month and cap space tied up in holds for Garnett and Ray Allen when free agency opens in early July.
“It is complicated and the timing is complicated. Juggling all these different scenarios is difficult,” Ainge said. “But the reality is that, on July 1, Kevin Garnett is on our books for $21 million until we either sign him to a new contract, or renounce him, which means we can’t re-sign him. Otherwise, it really limits our cap space.”
Ainge admitted that renouncing Garnett — or any of Boston’s big-name free agents such as Allen,Brandon Bass, or Jeff Green — is unlikely. Ainge hinted that re-signing the team’s own free agents, particularly with a slim pool of available bodies on the open market, might be the team’s best approach this offseason.
But it all starts with Garnett, and Ainge understands why he is weighing the decision to possibly walk away.
The idea of renouncing those guys is an interesting one, but I agree that the slim pool of available bodies does increase the likelihood that all three of those free agents stay. The fact still remains that Garnett will probably be good next season. Probably still an above average power forward at least. I’m not sure he goes 20 and 10 throughout the playoffs again, but 15 and 7 is still more than most teams get from that position. Whatever he decides though, the Celtics would be best served knowing sooner than later. But after 17 seasons I suppose he deserves as much time as he needs.