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Kevin Garnett will return to Celtics next season

Jun 30, 2012, 10:41 AM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers  v Boston Celtics - Game One Getty Images

He’s baaaaack.

As most expected after his strong playoff run, Kevin Garnett has shot down talk of retirement and told the Celtics he will return to the team next season, the Boston Herald reports.

The Herald has learned this morning that Garnett has informed the club he will be back.

The 36-year-old considered retirement, but ultimately decided to return for an 18th NBA season — and more. According to an NBA source and a source close to Garnett, the sides are working out the details of a deal that will be for at least two years and could possibly include a third.

“The decision came down to whether KG wanted to keep playing,” said one source. “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.”

Other reports suggests the new deal is three years, $34 million, or about $11 million a year. That seems about right, he had to take a cut from the $21 million he made last year. I would expect that it is a two year deal with a team option on the third (we will have to see what the buyout on that year is).

So the Celtics are heading into at least years six and seven of the “big three” era, and Garnett will be 38 if he stays for all three years of the contract. With KG back it means Boston remains in a “win now” mode and will be looking for players that can add some youth and athleticism, but are not full on projects. This is not rebuilding. Boston just drafted Jared Sullinger out of Ohio State, who could fit that mold and bring a smart game and some energy to the roster from Day 1. Also expect the Celtics to re-sign Jeff Geen for next season. They have a lot of room to move,

Bringing back Garnett also makes you wonder what kind of offer Boston will now make to Ray Allen.

This decision was expected after Garnett looked good last playoffs, averaging 19.2 points and 10 rebounds a game, with a PER of 20.5 in the playoffs. Most importantly during that run to the conference finals, Garnett was again anchoring the Celtics defense — when he would sit the Heat would go on runs almost every time.

Garnett has made $291 million in salary during his career and with this deal will move past Shaquille O’Neal as the highest earner in NBA history, reports Darren Rovell of CNBC.

  1. yourfutureanalyst1 - Jun 30, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Wow, “Reports suggest three years, $34 million, or about $11 million a year”!! I understand KG is a respectable talent, and he helped bring them their 17th banner, but at this point in his career he isn’t worth that much. If the Celtics want to “contend”, giving away money isn’t the way, and if KG wants to contend he needs to think more about the Celtics than himself. All in all, it’s good that he’s resigning. He will be a great mentor for Sullinger and Melo.

  2. reesesteel23 - Jun 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Take a paycut…..Help your team.

    • londonaiooo - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      I completely agree, if he took less my C’s could really build a strong team to contend. On the other side, taking an almost 50% pay cut is pretty significant. Still, glad he’s back.

    • lucky5934 - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      He did… he dropped 10 million off of last year’s salary. It clearly says that in the article.

      • reesesteel23 - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        last year is last year….and they lost….hes going to be a yr older…you’re clearly not over last yr

      • lucky5934 - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM


        What exactly are you referring to? Your comment makes no sense based on the above comment exchange about a player taking less money to come back to the Celtics.

  3. jimbo75025 - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    “Garnett has made $291 million in salary during his career”

    Wow, that is dome serious coin. KG has never really seemed like a bling bling kind of guy though so his family is probably going to be set for quite a few generations. Good for him.

    • borderline1988 - Jul 3, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      My advice to you:
      Never make that assumption about NBA players.

  4. storebrandcookies - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Glad to see Garnett coming back. This guy has always been one of my favorite players to watch growing up.

    With that front court of Garnett, Sullinger, and Fab Melo; The Celtics have a good chance of returning to the Eastern Conference finals but they need more perimeter shooting.

  5. blueblood86 - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Great deal.
    I thought he was retiring but great job by Danny. Now don’t go nuts for Ray move on. It’s better to get a sign and trade for Ray. Get youth.

  6. dirtyassfish - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Cant sign & trade for Ray he is an unrestricted free agent.

  7. pukpokito - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Can anyone answert this question PLEASE?
    How much Cap space do the Celtics now have after KG agreed to this extension?

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Very little. Here is the thing, while technically they have only $44 million in committed salary, there are things called cap holds (money that the Celtics can’t use because Ray Allen has not signed elsewhere) and other similar issues that have them above the salary cap. Which is to say, they only have the exceptions to spend right now beyond re-signing their own guys.

  8. jjbadd - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Hard to believe KG is from SC, about 15 minutes from my doorstep…wonder if he will loan me some of that 291 mill?

  9. j0esixpack - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Great news – KG knows how close they were even with so many injuries and players out – they played Miami much harder than OKC and if not for the officials who knows what might have been.

    A third year is overpaying – but I wouldn’t assume Garnett wouldn’t choose to retire sooner anyways – and regardless, a minimum 2 year $20 million is what anyone in the market would pay.

    With Pierce, Bradley, Rondo (assuming he’s not traded) and the likely return of Green plus free agents, the key for the Celts is simply to be healthy come the playoffs. It hardly matters what seed they are if they’re healthy.

    They have to be considered a contender again – something they would not be if Garnett had chosen not to return.

  10. thraiderskin - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    How did they get both Big Sully and Fab Melo? And they are getting a guy like Garnett back who can mentor those guys? Damn, almost seems unfair.

    • 1historian - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:17 AM

      Confronted with the choice of going with youth or trying to get one or more seasons out of the 3 geezers, Danny Ainge seems to have decided to do both.

      And he learned from Red Auerbach – don’t forget that.

      It’s interesting to note that 3 of the starting 5 from the Celts’ 1986 championship team – Danny Ainge, Kevin McHale and Larry Bird – are now or have been GMs.

      • borderline1988 - Jul 3, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        Danny Ainge has really impressed me.

        Very smart move on his part. KG is still a force, and well worth the money. I’m not a Boston fan, but I don’t understand the need to blow this team up…they were pretty close to making the NBA Finals last year, and there’s no reason to think they won’t be in the same position next year. The whole ‘blowing up and rebuilding through the draft’ is a myth anyways. OKC got extremely lucky with their picks, and you’re not going to draft a tteam better than Miami for years to come.

        Rondo and Garnett can anchor this team, and with Sullinger and Melo, they have some depth upfront. Look for them to make the playoffs and remain competitive for at least another few years.

  11. acdc363 - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    We love you KG

  12. knightrider1755 - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Nothing new here. Did anyone really expect KG to go anywhere else?

  13. isujames - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    With the same ending results, No Ring.

  14. lakerluver - Jun 30, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    All I can do is just imagine how many Larry O’s my beloved LAKERS would’ve won had KG gone there (he nearly did) instead of to Beantown. If the LAKERS won two without KG I think it’s safe to assume they would’ve won at least 3 with him. KG, Kobe, and Bynum?!! Man, that would’ve been sweet.

  15. dr3000 - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    so they resign this old man, draft a guy with a bad back and fab melo (lol), and boston fans are excited…HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA.

    • andyhr17 - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      Yes, they want the old man who nearly averaged 20/10 in the playoffs.

      Yes, they drafted two high risk/high reward players with picks in the 20’s. How many of those picks actually make a difference on an NBA team, especially for a team like the Celtics.

  16. j0esixpack - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    That’s right Doctor. Even without those players, without Bradley, without Green, and with officials making very questionable calls, they nearly beat the Heat and played Miami tougher than the West. What dont you understand? Other teams would love to be that close to a championship.

    • borderline1988 - Jul 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Please stop the referee comments btw. The Heat were the better team, and once they got Bosh back, the Celtics weren’t going to beat them.

      But I do agree with you otherwise. The Celtics got very close to the NBA Finals and I don’t see a need to blow up the Celtics at this point. Rondo and Garnett will keep the team competitive, and now they have some young talent in Sullinger.

  17. 1historian - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    I’ve always believed that when people take cheap shots (from the anonymity of cyberspace) at a team or a person they should first of all have to declare the name of the team THEY support.

    I know it’ll never happen, but it is a good idea

  18. infectorman - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:25 PM


    yeah, we all know who you’re referring to more than anyone else.

    Tool-shed, Clown boy has disappeared. I embarrassed his sorry-a$$ into retirement…
    he won’t be coming back….. you’re all welcome!

  19. KOBEshigawa - Jul 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Boston paid in full for this signing. They just gave a 36 year-old a 3 year deal, at $12 mil per. He had a healthy 2012, but what about the two seasons before that? Boston is poised to contend next year, so they had to resign him, but they definitely gave him an above-market deal. This was no hometown discount. Solid deal overall, especially because of the effect he’ll have on Fab Melo and Sullinger, but still. Wrote a little more here:

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