It will be a 3-year deal, but the smart money says that Kevin Garnett will only play two of them. Even KG has gone as far as to acknowledge that fact. The good news is that the Big Ticket didn’t want to play anywhere else – it was either re-up the Celtics or ride off into retirement, and our main man KG isn’t ready for a rocking chair anytime soon. He’ll continue to focus on rocking rims instead. It will be up to Doc Rivers to further manage the Big Ticket’s minutes so that there’s something left in the tank come playoff time, but even that change should produce a positive side-effect; if more minutes go to players like JaJuan Johnson, Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger, then not only will KG be (hopefully) fresh and prayerfully (healthy) come playoff time, then the young guys should be able to step up and contribute as well.
It’s no coincidence that Garnett is focused on Years 1 and 2 of the deal; Paul Pierce has two years remaining on his existing contract, and Pierce in all likelihood will retire at that point in time. I’m just glad he’s back. The Celtics with Garnett are a far different team than without, and I’ll take an aging KG over no KG. If Garnett can summon the same type of playoff performance next year, and the Celtics have the right pieces in place to support him, then I can’t see why we can’t make a serious run at unseating the Heat and reaching the NBA Finals.
You have to wonder if Garnett will return to his power forward spot, or if he’ll continue to play the center position. We’ll have to wait for the rest of free agency to play out, but it’s safe to say that Garnett will play whatever role is asked of him. His relationship with Doc Rivers is as strong as any between coach and star, and KG’s contributions go way beyond the box score. So in the end it really won’t matter what position he plays. Garnett brings it every night. It would be an awesome sight to see KG play alongside a dominant center, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen in this scenario. There won’t be a Dwight Howard or an Andrew Bynum to team with. He’ll have to make do with guys like Stiemsma, Melo and Wilcox, depending on how the signing period goes.
But at least he’s willing and able. Now it’s up to Ainge and Rivers to construct a team that will get the most out of an aging Garnett, given the constraints and perameters that the have to work within.