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Thomsen: KG Might Come Back Next Year

SI’s Ian Thomsen submitted a counterpoint yesterday to all the doom-and-gloom alarmism surrounding the Celtics: he doesn’t think the team should blow it up. Not within the next month and a half, anyway.

He points out that the Big Three will gradually play themselves into game shape, and that trade offers won’t even really open up until March 1st, when all the players who were signed in the offseason can be dealt.

But the meatiest tidbit of this piece is that Thomsen has apparently heard, from “the Celtics’ locker room,” that Kevin Garnett is thinking about playing basketball next year in a reduced role. Really!

The surprise news seeping out of the Celtics’ locker room is that the 35-year-old Garnett is talking about extending his career beyond this season, even though the 17th-year power forward would face a drastic cut in his $21.2 million salary to go with the lesser job description of a role player.

Assuming that seeping voice from the Celtics’ locker room is Garnett talking to his coaches and not Sasha Pavlovic gossiping with Bryan Doo, this is surprising news. A lot of people who follow the Celtics, myself included, assuming that Garnett was too frustrated with the decline in his physical abilities to keep playing after this year. That if he couldn’t play at the highest level, he wouldn’t play at all.

Here’s a quote from Garnett about his retirement from last February:

“I’m going to probably fade to black,’’ he said. “To be honest, I’m not a showman guy. I’m going to fade to black. I don’t know what I will do. I’m an idealist. I have a high drive and I’m very determined. Fade to black, man, like evaporate.’’

Of course, it’s not 100% clear what “fade to black” means. I always assumed it meant he’d just quietly retire when he started to slip, but I guess it could mean playing way past his prime and just becoming a nonreactor in the league. That sounds a lot like liquid being exposed to heat for too long and gradually turning to gas, or evaporating.

Thomsen speculates that the Celtics could resign Garnett and Ray Allen as “inexpensive role players” to help mold whatever young talent the Celtics are able to sign in the offseason. He makes the solid point that the Celtics seem to be incapable of signing a major star, so if they’re forced to develop players internally, it would help to surround them with veterans (not that it’s done much for their draft picks over the last four years).

Is Garnett capable of being an “inexpensive role player”? If the Celtics don’t bring him back, would he want to come off the bench on a contender? Start for the Kings? Come off the bench for the Kings? What is going on here?

  • jimmy

    Only way id want kg back is if its cheap (3-5 mil) n hes nothing more than a bench player

  • cos

    I'd have KG at the 4 with D. Howard at the 5. Until he signs somewhere, Howard is still an option. Little to none is still a chance.

    I've always believed getting some quality players and have the Big 3 fill in the gaps around the younger guys would be the best way to move forward, but getting those younger quality guys is the tough part. DA has done decent in the draft but I fault him for not really picking projects a few years ago with the hope of developing them from within (D-League for 2 years to develop).


    if I may say something regarding the Pierce trade talk… Im fairly certain there's a new provision in the new CBA that allows teams to extend the years of current contract to reduce the amount on the yearly cap. I heard ESPN Coon talk about it on the radio a couple of weeks ago and while he didn't say its called "stretch provision" thats what it sort of sounds like. So, as for trading Pierce and his 2 years large contract, I doubt it happens and could definitely see the team use that provision to keep pierce around while reducing his cost on the cap.

  • Zebo

    This is encouraging and may mean that he believes his slow start is just that and not the new normal. He may well round into form and get back to 90% of the player he was last year, which would be good. Still really wish we got to see what this team would have looked like with Green – he would have helped a ton

  • skeeds

    Signing both KG and Ray for 3-5 mil sounds like a good plan.

    I'm still wondering, how is Boston considered unlikely to sign a big name (read: Dwight). Because seriously, other than the weather look at all the other factors. Big organisation, big city, big audience, pretty massive exposure, THE legacy, basketball culture at its best. Doc is a top 5 coach in the league. All star PG, and a potential supporting cast including Pierce, Ray, Bass, Green, Pietrus and as we're hearing, maybe KG too.

    And you're telling me the Nets have a better chance of landing Dwight Howard? How on earth is that possible? Dallas I can understand. Dirk Jet and Odom are as good a recruiting pitch as you can make. But what do the Nets have in their favor?

  • hype

    I suppose the Nets have Brooklyn in their favor. They have the potential of "out New-Yorking" the Knicks. There's also this idea out there that the Lakers should have the most trophies in the NBA. People want it to happen. Players seemingly want to be part of Laker legacy than Celtic legacy. But this is part of what makes the Clippers so awesome this season, they're totally showing the Lakers up. As for what we should do. I'm salivating at the idea of keeping the big 3 on the roster at major salary cuts while signing young, new talent. The C's would be a lock if that were to happen. Everyone has to be on the same page though. Ray, Paul, and Kevin need to have a chat with management/ownership and come to terms. They need to make a major compromise, and be re-assured that new talent will come in-turn. They need to talk numbers. The big 3 need to be involved with the decision-making process that brings new talent here. The organization needs to work together for it to happen. Then we need to reap all the free agent talent there is. Dunno who that includes, but talented players that aren't superstars. Players that are good, but aren't full of themselves from too much attention.

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