Rumors are flying about the future of Kevin Garnett, a key part of the Boston Celtics' aging Big Three. There is some discussion about a possible trade, but the emerging consensus is that he will more than likely either stay with the Celts or retire from the NBA entirely.
Danny Ainge, the Boston Celtics' president of basketball operations, contributed his two cents on the topic Wednesday morning during a discussion with reporters, when he said he believes, along with much of the sports world, that free-agent forward Kevin Garnett will retire a Celtic.
That means, according to Ainge, that Garnett will more than likely either re-sign with Boston, or that he will retire this off-season, the Boston Herald reported Wednesday.
I think that's it. As of right now, Ainge said in regards to those two options, suggesting that KG will probably not go to any other NBA team. We're having conversations with Kevin, but we don't have any answers on whether he's coming back or not ... I don't think it will happen quickly. There's no deadline with Kevin. Kevin is the only free agent we have we can talk to now. We don't have to wait until July 1 because he's eligible for an extension. The rest of our players, we have to wait until July 1.
That's why the focus as of right now is on Garnett, rather than his other aging Big 3 cohorts, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, or young, superstar point guard Rajon Rondo. But Ainge did say that Allen is open to returning to Boston, according to ESPN Boston:
Yeah, I think Ray's open to coming back, Ainge said.
But decisions regarding other players could even hinge on Kevin Garnett's decision, Ainge said:
Somewhat. We could be on hold, he told reporters. The sooner we get Kevin done the better it will be for us, and the sooner we have an idea of the direction we need to go ... (But) we don't want to rush him. We don't want to pressure him. You guys know Kevin.
Ainge added that he believes there will probably be a decision by Sunday, when free agency starts in the NBA:
I'll know that by July 1, Ainge said. I'll be in communication with him, and by then I will have a better feel.
Here's video from that presser with Danny Ainge:
Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers echoed the comments by Ainge on Tuesday during a sports leadership breakfast at Fenway Park in Boston, the Herald reported Wednesday:
Absolutely, he said when asked whether Garnett will return. Let's just say yes. Positive thinking.
And Rivers went on to explain himself further:
I hope he comes back, and I think he will, he said. I have no basis for that. I just believe that he will.
Here's video of Rivers discussing the situation with Kevin Garnett:
The Celtics came back from a disappointing first half of the 2011-2012 NBA season to lose in heartbreaking fashion to the Miami Heat's new Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the Eastern Conference Finals.