[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ike so many aging rock stars who have begun to miss life on the road, key members of the Celtics franchise are starting to suggest that they will get the band back together for one last run. Although Doc Rivers appeared on Stephen A. Smith’s radio show on Friday and refused to field any questions about his future, someone even more influential than the former coach of the year indicated which way he is leaning.
That man is, of course, Kevin Garnett. The heart and soul of the Celtics organization for the past five years, and the first domino in a sequence that will likely determine how Danny Ainge proceeds this offseason. Garnett has a no-trade clause, a close personal relationship with Rivers and the great Paul Pierce, and should have a lot of input with regards to how this team is constructed if indeed he comes back for a final year. He also has floating bone spurs in his ankles, and just like last season, will seriously consider the possibility of retirement before the end of June.
However, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, one of the most respected voices in Boston sports journalism, says the indications are that KG comes back for another run.“Who holds all the cards? Kevin Garnett,” she said. “Garnett may or may not need surgery. We haven’t heard either way. That might determine whether he wants to come back for another year. I’m hearing that he wants to come back for one year. That’s what I’m hearing right now.”
It’s hard to imagine K.G. coming back without Doc Rivers as his coach. It’s also hard to picture Paul Pierce finishing his career in a different city, but the C’s may be unable to retain The Captain due to financial concerns. Without Pierce’s $15 million contract next year, Ainge would be free to pursue free agent power forward Paul Millsap, whom the Celtics apparently considered trading for at the deadline last season.
In an ideal world, Garnett would return with his fellow aging superstar in Pierce, a healthy floor general in Rondo, and some much needed help in the front court in the form of Millsap. Whether he has the pull to sway the Celtics front office into this type of “all-in” move has yet to be determined, and it’s unclear if that is even feasibly given the C’s cap situation. Yet one thing is for sure, as long as Garnett is wearing green, the Celtics will be a tough-minded group of feisty ball players who curse like sailors and play harder than any other group in the NBA.