Kevin Garnett is going to finish his career as a Boston Celtic after agreeing to a three-year $34 million deal with the team.
The decision came down to whether KG wanted to keep playing, a source told the Boston Herald. And once he decided that he did, it was going to be Boston. He wasn't going to leave Doc (Rivers) and those guys and play anywhere else.
Garnett is 36 and has played 17 seasons in the NBA. He reportedly considered retiring before signing the contract. He had 15.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season for the Celtics before he upped his production to 19.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
Now that Garnett is back in the fold there is an enormous amount of pressure on Ray Allen.
The Celtics shooting guard is a free agent as well. He has expressed a desire to return to Boston, but the Miami Heat have made it clear he is their top target in free agency.
The Celtics deal to acquire Allen from the Seattle Supersonics in 2007 was the deal that convinced Garnett to join the Celtics as a free agent and create the big 3 that won the 2008 NBA title. Now it is Garnett's decision to re-up that may affect Allen.
Allen is 36 and coming off his worst statistical season since his rookie year in Milwaukee in 1996. But he is still one of the NBA's deadliest shooters.
His decision could come down to money. The Heat can only offer him their $3 million exception as their roster is chock full of well-paid stars already. The Celtics have Bird-rights on Allen and could offer him as much as they want.
But, if it is playing time he seeks, Miami is probably the better option. In Boston he is going to have to compete with Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley for time on the floor. In Miami, he will probably be the sixth man and would be in line for 25-30 minutes per game.
Miami also probably offers him the best chance at one more title before he retires. The Heat are the defending champions and look to be the prohibitive best team in the East, even if Allen were to return to Boston.
Things will get very interesting beginning on Sunday at 12:01 a.m. ET as two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference prepare to do battle over one of the top free agent.