Post-game Reactions


As we watch and wait for the Celtics 2012 offseason to unfold, there are a lot of dominoes that could fall. At this point, the departure of Ray Allen (despite my hopes) appears to be becoming more likely by the day, as a variety of circumstances behind the scenes point to a parting of ways on both sides. However, the biggest domino in this entire offseason scenario is none other than Kevin Garnett.

The 36-year-old veteran has fueled endless speculation already around the very real possibility that he could retire this summer, putting the Celtics in a tough spot where they might have to spend more of their summer rebuilding, rather than just reloading. Whether or not Allen is back next season, this team is in a position where they could realistically contend for at the least an Eastern Conference title next season once again if Garnett returns. The Heat will be the favorites undoubtedly, but the Bulls will be without Derrick Rose for much of the season, making Boston the top choice to be the number two contender in the East, depending on what Indiana does this summer.

That contender scenario only happens though if Garnett is back. (I’ll save you the time now. He’s not playing anywhere besides Boston next season if he plays). Today in The Boston Herald, Steve Bulpett reflected on what kind of situation Garnett would need in Beantown according to sources, if he were to return:

KG has found a comfort zone with the Celts that would make it hard for him to go elsewhere if he isn’t able to find a mutually beneficial deal here.

In this regard, some close to the issue think it’s possible Garnett waits to see how the club plans to shape the roster.

“Kevin’s very loyal, and he hates change,” one source said. “But I think it’d be hard for him to come back if it’s a total rebuild. If he’s going to play, he has to be playing for something.

“I think he’ll wait to see what’s going to happen. If Danny can give him a solid answer right away, then maybe he gives them an answer, too. But KG’s going to want to know who he’ll be playing with.”

Another factor is who he’ll be playing for, as Garnett clearly has developed a strong affection for Doc Rivers.

So if the Celts can convince him through their offseason moves that they will be able to contend, and Garnett has a coach with whom he’s comfortable, the matter then comes down to a contract.

There has been no talk that he will try to break the bank, but there are those who say KG should be forgiven if he’s wary, adding that on one occasion in Minnesota, a promise to bring back certain players was not kept.

So for now, we are left to watch and wait. On the surface, it looks like everything should work out. Boston has the most money to offer. Garnett is most comfortable in Boston, and the C’s have the means to put together a potentially improved contender for next season with more spare parts to appease KG.

With that said, doing that is expensive for this ownership, who would run the risk of running into luxury tax territory again, depending how much Garnett and his fellow C’s free agents command on the market. If Boston knows Garnett won’t play anywhere else besides Boston (or doesn’t want to), how does that affect their offer? Will they go two years in another new deal with KG and risk losing cap flexibility moving forward, the exact scenario Danny Ainge has preached against for the past 2-3 years? Will a potential departure of Ray Allen bother Garnett at all, if Boston fails to make him a reasonable offer? And if Boston does come in too low with the money for KG himself, will Garnett, a very proud man, walk away into the sunset for good?

Plenty of questions right now, with no certain answers. My faith is with some careful navigation of the waters, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers and company can work through all these potential issues and bring back a happy Garnett for one final lap. If not, it will be a long summer for everyone involved.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • CelticsBIG3

    Here's hoping that Garnett decides to give it one more lap!!!

    • Anthony

      Yes, Celts need knuckle push-ups for as long as he can do it. Here's to hoping KG signs for 2 more years and potentially retiring with Pierce at the same time.

      Also would be nice if OKC can sweep Miami. Sucks not watching the battle-tested veterans against the young guns. Defense vs offense. The Fantastic 4 vs Spiderman (Durant), Venom (Westbrook), and The Beard (Harden). Instead we get Robin (LeChoke) & Robin (DCrybaby) vs Spidey, Venom, and The Beard.

      NBA, you messed up and put the wrong team in the Finals!
      (Sorry guys, still trying to cope with the Celts being cheated out of not playing in Finals)

      • High Rollers

        KD's shot is the prettiest thing I've seen in a long time. It just comes off so easily. It ain't the truth, but it sure looks like a shot coming from a guy without a care in the world.

        • CelticsBIG3

          Here's to the #Durantula…. You know who's more clutch than Lebron (4 points last night in the fourth quarter)? Not Durant, not Westbrook, Nick F'N Collison (6 points in the fourth quarter)!!!

          • Guest

            He actually had 8

  • T.J.

    Kevin please come back my man. Your my favorite athlete ever and I cant imagine watching the NBA without you!!!! Come back for at least one year (hopefully 2). I'l take whatever I can get from you!!!

  • Miggy_Miggz

    At this point KG isn't the type to play only to collect pay checks, so it's vital we build a good roster so he comes back. I'm a little worried we might low-ball an offer towards him which will lead him to feeling disrespected and he just stays retired.

    All I know is that under no circumstance do I want him wearing another jersey.. As KG would say, anything is possible, so we have to make sure that doesn't happen.

  • High Rollers

    I just hope for KG that he can focus on the fact that he has a long life ahead of him and the passion he has for his craft will never die. Don’t let anything take away your time in the craft, Big Ticket. Not $$ or CBA status or owners or management or anybody. Craft and family come first. Maybe DA should start texting him, “If you build it, they will come.” As in, free agents.

    If Ray can accept where his abilities are now and what his role has to be, then he deserves nothing less than a no-trade clause. It may just be for one year, but it could be a big year. I’ll never forget something that nobody seems to have mentioned since the Miami series ended: Ray absolutely harassed D.Wade on D. Every time I looked up he was poking the ball out of the hands of a great, great offensive player. All the dude wants is a little respect and a little security. It’s understandable. And Ticket is watching.

  • Lip

    Here's the roster I want to see come next year (or very close to it hopefully!)__Starting 5…KG, Paul, Rondo, Bradley, Chris Kaman (he's the player Danny needs to go after big time as long as he's back to being healthy) or Marreese Speights__Bench…Green, Ray (only if he takes a very reduced salary), Bass, johnson/moore, Steimsma, 1 o2 2 rookies from this year__Go Danny Go!

  • ElRoz

    I would play KG 24 minutes a game on average…bring back Bass, Wilcox, Green…and if no Ray Allen, my team would be

    Bass Wilcox
    Green/Pierce Green/Pierce
    KG Hollins/Stiemsma/ A better big man signing
    Bradley Pietrus/Moore
    Rondo Dolling

    one can even play Green at PF sometimes and Pietrus at SF … I'm also wondering if E. Moore will emerge next season to back-up some minutes at shooting guard? And of course the two draft picks are wild cards – here's hoping that Danny will be at his best and pull out two great steals at the draft!

  • ElRoz

    From what we saw with Jordan and a few others, it is better not to retire to soon…you don't want to miss 1/2 a season and then find out you cannot stop thinking about playing and you still have some left…better get it all out of your system KG – two more years! (at reduced minutes 20-24 per game)

  • wildcat96

    Different people report different things Ray's departure is not a given:

    And you best believe KG will be back

    • pleasestayray

      As much as I love Ray there are 3 places he absolutely CAN NOT go without me feeling like he is a back stabbing trader (Just like Johnny Damon) : The Heat, The Lakers and the Knicks

  • pleasestayray

    I wish Ray would be willing to come off the bench!! I want Ray and KG (and of course Paul) to retire as Celtics

    Lets face it, the bench was horrible this year. So if Avery started and everyone is healthy with Ray coming off the bench I think this team could be pretty damn good.

    I think it will come down to Ray's pride frankly. Would he be willing to be a bench player here where everyone already loves him or does him feel he needs to be a starter somewhere else (breaking Celtics fans hearts) where that team might not be a likely to win.

    Please stay Ray!

    • Pauper

      Ray isn't going to help off the bench as much as people think. He's a shooter and needs someone to break down the defense so he gets the kickout when his man goes to help. If you had a healthy PP or JG playing bench minutes with him, he can probably get back to 14ppg.

  • Jimmy

    We should try n throw money at a solid big like hibbert, lopez, or mcgee then kg would come back n having a line up of rondo bradley pierce kg n any of them is an uprade of this years team easily….then have bass n jeff green off the bench n thats real solid

  • devin

    If everyone wants, hopes KG comes back playing 25 min per game, they would still need to go out and get a suitable back up big man who can share the minutes load. I don't think Steimer and Bass will cut it–as we saw what happened this year when KG was off the floor.

  • High Rollers

    My guess is that if the C's relent on a no-trade clause for Ray, he will stay. If he can't get one with any team, then he'll probably go–perhaps to a starting role with the Clips, as the rumor mill has it today. A year without the anxiety of being traded sounds like it is #20's top priority.

    • High Rollers

      But no-trade clauses are a very rare commodity. I think only Kobe has one right now, but I'm not even sure about that one.

      • CG12

        Just Kobe was my understanding, too. They don't do them in the NBA.

    • jamie

      You're not going to give a 37 year old bench player a no trade clause. not happening

  • High Rollers

    "gary washburn ‏@GwashNBAGlobe

    #celtics announce that free agent Ray Allen (right ankle) and Mickael Pietrus (right knee) underwent successful surgeries today"

    Great news for the fellas.

  • skeeds

    Let's just pray Ainge finally manages to sign a solid big guy. He's been trying since KG went down in 2009. Now, for the first time, he has both the cap space, tradeable pieces and a great free agent class to chose from.

    At the very least Chris Kaman. Best case scenario, Brook Lopez. Bestest case scenario Gasol. Awesome case scenario, Hibbert. Dream case scenario, Carmelo really can't stand Stoudemire, Ainge grabs him. Rondo/Stoudemire pick n roll puts Stockton/Malone to shame.

    Evil world domination scenario? OKC sweeps Miami, Pat Riley panics and seeks trades. Ainge somehow lands Bosh. Celtics rule the land for years to come. muahahahaha!!!

  • High Rollers

    @Jamie Ray Allen isn’t your typical aging bench player.

  • Pauper

    No need to get excited about KG coming back because this team can't win it all as it's constructed. A starting lineup of Rondo, AB, PP, Bass, and KG isn't going to beat OKC and maybe not even the Heat.

    Our draft picks aren't high enough to get an impact defensive center or prolific wing scorer which are the two pieces we sorely lack. Since the only impactful big men available in the draft are Davis and Robinson, we can rule out improvement in that position. Even if you can get him, I don't see Drummond as a big improvement over Steemer next year.

    Our best hope is Green is completely healthy, can play at the level expected of him and resigns with the Celtics. That way you can close games with a line up of Rondo, AB, PP, Green, and KG which gives you a great defensive lineup with three runners. You also have scoring from the bench keeping only PP or JG on the floor most of the game. It's also a lineup that gives you enough mismatches to take on the Heat and OKC.

    • tbunny

      Since we never really saw that first line up, your opinion doesn't hold a lot of water for me.

      • tbunny

        I actually think the Rondo, AB, PP, Bass, KG line-up could be championship level if everybody is healthy and they have solid bench contribution.

    • skeeds

      Forget about starting lineups. The vast majority of successful teams these past couple of years, aren't at all about the starters. From Chicago to Philly to OKC to the Spurs and Dallas, you have a 9 man deep rotation revolving around your 1-2 stars, but thriving on production from the bench.
      And with the best playmaker in the business, it's only logical that the C's would benefit going that way.

      If you get a solid big like Kaman to give you 20-25 minutes, KG to add 20-25, plus Bass and the backups, your frontline is lethal.
      Doc's gonna need to find balance on the wings too. Whoever covers Pierce, can't be just a "backup" That's why Jeff Green is very important. You need a solid, 25 minute guy. And an agent-x guard, a scorer or pure shooter, like Ray, Novak, Korver, Brown…

    • Anthony

      Agree with you about the having a quality player like J Green but totally disagree about not being able to beat Miami. Of course it's just my speculation but AB's injury hurt the team on so many different levels and the Celts really should've won the series in 5. (Still a bit bitter about game 2).

      One of the reason Lebron was able to dominate was because the Celts can't trap him. They chose to trap DWade instead. If AB wasn't injured, he can play DWade man-to-man allowing the Celts to trap Lebron more. Second, it allows Ray to come off the bench, thus giving a scoring threat. The bench accounted for 13, 7, 19, 11, 19, 2, 15, 2 points in each of the games. Guess which games the Celts won? The games where the bench scored 19, 11, and 19. The 13 and 15 point games were skewed because those were blowouts and the bench played more mins.

      OKC is an even deeper, younger and faster team than Miami so it's hard to say how the Celts can guard them. Also, the Celts has always had problems with athletic bigs that can drive to the basket (Durant, Dirk, Rashard Lewis, JSmith, Lebron, etc.). But then again, the Celts defense is so good that they can slow down any team. And OKC has noone than can match up against Rondo and KG. Unfortunately we can't see how it plays out since the league decided they prefer a Durant vs Lebron Finals.

  • GreenM&M

    Forget Kaman. the guy is slow as molasses. We need a big that can run with Rondo. Even Wilocx is a better fit.

    Also don't forget Kaman was playing for a contract this year. He may be fools gold to anyone that signs him.

    • W2.

      Totally agree about Kamen. At the beginning of last year I saw him as an upgrade over JO. But once KG moved to center I realized how slow the Celts were (are). I would rather have Steamer, Hollins, and Sean Williams over Kamen and invest that money into a guy like Lou Williams who can come off the bench and fill it up.

    • yeah

      Agreed, this is why I keep saying Kris Humphries, although it had better be for a good price. There are some PF's in the league who can play C better than most centers, just because they can ACTUALLY MOVE.

      Spencer Hawes also exists, but I'd still take Humphries over him.
      Also mildly interested in Semih Erden. I think it would be fun to watch him and Greg Stiemsma fumble and bumble around on the floor together, but I'd love rooting for them.

  • jpbl1976

    We need to get a good shooter — we almost had him in OJ Mayo but somehow, it wouldn't have been right if Ray weren't there for the last run.

    That said, I think Game 7 was the last we saw of Ray; he's probably off to join Thibbs and his friend, Rip Hamilton, over at Chicago. He could get touches early in the season now that it look as though Rose could miss the start of the next season. I'll miss him: next to MJ, his was the prettiest jumper I'd ever seen and he was such a classy presence each game.

    I don't know if we could get Mayo now, though. I think he replaces a lot of what Ray does and his best years are still ahead of him; he just needs an offense run by a good PG like Rondo to blossom. I see him trying too hard to create his own shots at Memphis because Conley just isn't the playmaker that Rondo is.

    I'd like for a scenario where Roy Hibbert goes to us — we can sign him for a big contract and sell him on playing with a pass-first PG like Rondo and KG. Then, come February, we can flip him to Orlando for Dwight and some other pieces (could be Bradley) when the inevitable Dwight Howard sweepstakes happens. The problem is that Bird (if he's back as Pacers GM) has more pieces — he can potentially trade Hibbert and David West to Orlando.

    That said, I think Howard is gullible enough (and I think Ainge probably thinks this way too) to fall for Boston selling him the "become the 2nd coming of Bill Russell" juice so it's worth seeing what can be done to get a good enough young big that we can participate in the Howard trade deadline sweepstakes that we all know is coming. I just don't think we can wait it out because I don't think he'll become a free agent — Orlando will do one of those Carmelo-type trades before it can happen.

    Seriously, I think we'd contend with KG, Howard, Rondo and Pierce. SG is a relatively easier position to play off of if we can get a solid defender at that position to replace Bradley in my far-fetched Hibbert scenario — there are few really dominant SG outside of Kobe and Wade anyway — and even those two are seemingly on the downside of their careers (Kobe, in particular, is positively Iversonian these days). It'd also be interesting to see if Howard can pick up some of KG's old school ways the way Perk did — but I wouldn't hold my breath: SVG wore on him after a while.

    I'd also like to see us try to get Nic Batum; that guy can play either SG or SF and could take on the role of top wing defender.

    If none of the above happens, I see KG retiring and Danny managing his cap until he can sign Anthony Davis as a free agent. That, or he just might gamble on Greg Oden. Wouldn't that be something?

  • strips

    Any idea which players( pg, sg, etc.) KG would like to have on the team? Or which players the c's might be looking for in the draft?

    • W2.

      If we stay where we are the mocks suggest SF and Bigs. Some project SF: Harkless, Jones( Perry or Terence), Taylor. Bigs: Nicholson, Melo, White.

      I personally really like Marquis Teague and wonder about Jenkins from Vandy to plug in the whole that will be left by Ray's impending departure. I would love to see a high energy and strong big get picked in the second round like Acy or F. E. from Vandy who could come in and really challenge JJJ to pick it up.

  • http://www.celtic-nation.com/blog/2012/06/14/mock

    ^ Check out this guy's mock – pretty accurate looking.

    I hope we can grab some impact players and re-sign KG for one more run. I'd like Ray back as well. Heck, maybe we get Mayo and Camby in free agency

  • Eric

    better if they play one more season at the celtics the big 3's