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Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce say it’s too soon to talk future with the Celtics

May 4, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett AP

Immediately following the Celtics elimination from the playoffs at the hands of the Knicks in Game 6 on Friday, the questions began to turn to the team’s veteran core, and whether or not they’d be back in Boston next season.

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are both under contract, but are also in very different situations.

Pierce is on the books for over $15 million next year should the Celtics retain his services, but only $5 million of that deal is guaranteed. If Boston decides it’s time to rebuild completely, Pierce could be an amnesty candidate, and might end up playing next season elsewhere. Garnett, meanwhile, has two more years on his deal, along with a no-trade clause that essentially means it’s completely up to him whether or not to play out his contract or consider retirement after just completing his 18th NBA season.

Neither player was ready to talk about the large decisions facing them and the Celtics franchise this summer, but at least in Garnett’s case, he hinted that his decision to return may be based on what ends up happening with Pierce.

From Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston:

“One of the big reasons I came [to Boston] was because of Paul,” said Garnett. “Obviously, you want to be in a situation where it’s better. I want to make sure that I’m able to always help a team. I want to be in positions to where I’m giving something. I demand a lot of myself, both physically and from a skill level. But I’d be lying to y’all if I said Paul didn’t play into that factor. Like I said, it’s too soon of a conversation for me right now.”

Asked if he expected to be back in Boston next season, 35-year-old Pierce said that was a question for the Celtics’ front office.

“That’s up to [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] and them,” said Pierce. “I have no idea.”

Pierce continued to say that he’ll be playing next season somewhere, even if the Celtics decide it won’t be in Boston.

A healthy Rajon Rondo changes a lot in terms of what the ceiling is for this Celtics team, and if there are other roster tweaks available, Boston may give it one more go with Pierce and Garnett in place. Then again, the flexibility available by cutting Pierce loose may open the door to even more attractive options for next season, and ones that could be more sensible long-term solutions for the franchise.

  1. thekingdave - May 4, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Garnett’s full of it. You came because of Paul? Please. You rejected a draft day trade to Boston in 2007. You only hopped on the bandwagon after the Celtics acquired Ray Allen. Fact.

    • spthegr8 - May 4, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Well somebody better make some kind of decision soon. They aren’t getting any younger!! Unless Danny Ainge has access to the hot tub time machine, it’s time to let them both go & that’s the TRUTH!!! No pun intended!!

    • eventhorizon04 - May 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      You’re right that the more accurate statement would be that he came in part because of Paul Pierce, and in part because the acquisition of Ray Allen meant the Celtics would be a true contender if KG were to join them.

      However, KG’s decided to pretend Ray Allen doesn’t exist after Allen joined the Heat, so I don’t think he’s willing to admit Ray Allen’s presence on the Celtics helped nudge him towards wanting to join up, which is fine.

  2. saint1997 - May 4, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    It would be interesting to see what they could get back from a Pierce trade or a Garnett trade by way of young talent. They’d have to target a team looking to make the next step to contend now and yet is young enough to have pieces that Boston would want back to retool around Rondo, Bradley and Green

  3. halfbaht - May 4, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    As a Celtics fan I want KG and the truth back. Both these men deserve to retire in the green, Pierce especially. To see him in another jersey would just make me sick to my stomach. Pierce showed loyalty to Boston through the lean years, time to return the favour

    • acdc363 - May 4, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      I’m with you on that man!

    • andyhr17 - May 4, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      I agree that both of them deserve to retire Celtics, but Ainge is not going to go through a repeat of holding onto the original Big Three and miss on the chance to rebuild. Combined, Pierce and Garnett’s contracts are crippling to the team moving forward. Next year they’re a year older and will have lost another step. This was supposed to be about a three year plan and it lasted 6. Time to accept that the current era is over, move forward with a few years of mediocrity, and compete again in a few years with a younger retooled team.

      • DonRSD - May 4, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        Bill Simmons mentioned that 3 year plan now going to 6 on the post-game show.

        Get your own content

      • andyhr17 - May 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        As a lifetime Celtics team that just witnessed the end of my team as it currently is do you really think I watched the post-game show? Let alone 1 second after the buzzer went off?

        Do you also really think Bill Simmons is the first person to say it was a three year plan? That was sort of known from the beginning that it was not supposed to be long-term. I can also do the math an tell it’s year 6 of them being together.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Pierce started in The Green. He should end wearing The Green.

  4. addict2sport - May 4, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    It’s going to be a beautiful ceremony when they retire Pierce’s jersey and present him with a golden wheelchair. He’ll ride off the court midway through the ceremony and then run back on the court just as the jersey reaches the rafters.

    • acdc363 - May 4, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      LOL !

    • andyhr17 - May 4, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      At least when Pierce needed a wheelchair he had hurt his leg (then came back out onto the court to play). how about when Wade needed a wheelchair for his hurt SHOULDER?

      • spthegr8 - May 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        @andy
        That is a good point but C’MON. It’s no secret that P squared has a flare for the theatrical!!

      • eventhorizon04 - May 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        I think you’re missing the point.

        Nobody disputing the fact that people with serious injuries – particularly leg injuries – should use a wheelchair to be transported.

        The fact is, Pierce’s injury wasn’t serious. At all.

        Wade’s injury was so serious that it forced him to miss the rest of the season after getting major surgery.
        Pierce’s “injury” was so “serious” that he came back from the locker room a few minutes later, jumping up and down as he re-entered the court to pump up the crowd, and then he hit a bunch of threes.

        See the difference?

      • andyhr17 - May 4, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        Oh, I see your point. I know your side of the argument. I just have to laugh how overblown it is. Dude thought he seriously hurt his knee. If you think you hurt your knee, are you going to put pressure on it, mess it up more? Just being caution.

        This is the same guy who got stabbed all over his damn body and still played the season. Sometimes dramatic? Yeah, sure. But are Kobe, Lebron, Wade, etc also not overdramatic?

      • spthegr8 - May 4, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        @andy
        No, that is true. They all are over dramatic @ times. I forgot about the stabbing thing tho and him coming back and playing later that year. Not many people would have been able too do that, so respect. With that being said, some of the players take the acting to a different level. IMO, Paul and D-Wade are @ the TOP of that list!!

    • pglive21 - May 4, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      Pure comedy gold!

      • borderline1988 - May 4, 2013 at 11:26 PM

        The stupid stabbing thing again! It doesn’t require toughness to rebound from that. When you get cleared to play, you’re cleared to play. It’s like getting injured, recovering, and coming back. How does that prove toughness? Just because his injuries stemmed from violence instead of a game?

        It’s not like Rondo who freakin played with a dislocated elbow. Now that is being tough, although I get the feeling that dude doesn’t really register pain.

        Let’s just get real…Pierce is a panzy. Many NBA players are, but that doesn’t change the ‘truth’. The guy falls to the floor coming around picks like no other.

      • andyhr17 - May 5, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        You’re an idiot. There is really nothing more to say.

      • andyhr17 - May 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        I mean, seriously. You’re really saying that getting stabbed all over your body is no big deal and coming back to play soon after is “no big deal”. By your logic, how big of a pussy is D Rose, then?

      • pglive21 - May 6, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Actually I didn’t say that andyhr. Not sure how typing “pure comedy gold” indicates that I think Paul Pierce wasn’t tough for coming back after that stabbing incident. You’re clearly the idiot who makes that kind of leap in logic. What IS comedy gold is when Paul Pierce got wheeled off for an “injury” faking a serious injury and then came back in 2 minutes later without any indication of an injury at all. Why don’t you work on reading comprehension andyhr? Your objective evaluation of basketball players needs a little work.

  5. giantssb42champs - May 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    With all due respect, who would really want these guys at this point in their careers.

    • andyhr17 - May 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      You telling me the Clippers wouldn’t have wanted Garnett on their team to lead their defense? Really don’t think a contender would want Pierce coming off the bench to help out? His leadership?

      So many people completely miss the fact that there is more to basketball than fantasy baskretball statistics.

      • acdc363 - May 4, 2013 at 11:08 AM

        Well said dude! As usual!

      • money2long - May 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        echoing acdc as we all should. well said, andy. and i also think pierce can still start elsewhere.

    • mytthor - May 4, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      A lot of teams would want Garnett. He can help a team as an accurate jump shooter out to 20 feet and a defensive anchor. Pierce, on the other hands, has lost too much quickness to defend consistently, and while he can hit threes, he’s the type of player who needs to be the offensive focal point and iso a lot to be successful. Players like that always find it difficult to just be that guy coming off the bench hitting 3’s. Speed-wise he’s a smallball 4 at this point.

  6. jcrileyesq - May 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    would love to see clippers get them both in exchange for bledsoe, jordan, and a clippers small forward(butler or barnes) but I dont think bledsoe would want to go to another crowded backcourt

    • scalfor3 - May 5, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      As a C’s fan, I don’t want this. Jordan is overpaid and Bledsoe is about to be (great athlete, but he’s about to get quality starter money and he’s never been more than an exciting role player). Spending most of your cap on Rondo, Green, Bledsoe and Jordan isn’t rebuilding, it’s making sure you’ll get bounced in the first/second round every year and never get high enough picks to make a real difference. Congrats, you’ve become Atlanta.

  7. yousuxxors - May 4, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    they both can def still help teams but they cannot be playing 40 minutes a night anymore. I hate both of them but god dam do I respect. young players cab learn a lot from them on how to be a professional. shows how far intelligence and heart can take you. I feel younger players are not like that anymore.

  8. freudnumb - May 4, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I think there just isn’t an appropriate target to trade PP and/or KG for. With Rondo, Bradley, Green, and Sullinger healthy, the Celtics still need a legitimate big man who can rebound and attack in the paint. Some possible options are Cousins, Monroe, Drummond, Favors, and Vucevic, but all of their teams are in rebuilding mode … Perhaps the Celtics can clean up the cap space and sign Bynum or Al Jefferson?

    • mazblast - May 4, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      Sign Jason Collins. It will render the team immune from criticism for a year no matter how poorly they may play.

  9. bux1022 - May 4, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Bag em and tag em!

  10. kb2408 - May 4, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    For all the hoopla over the Celtics “Big 3″ coming together, they won exactly one title. Not trolling, just saying.
    #theLAKERSzealot!

    • andyhr17 - May 4, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      Which is more than 26 other teams have during that time period. I know, that’s some complicated math.

      Drop the hashtag, idiot. This isn’t Twitter.

  11. mazblast - May 4, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Ainge and the rest of the Celtics management team need to either grow some, admit they’re done for now, tear it down and rebuild, or quit. They’ve gotten as much as they’re going to get from Garnett, Pierce, et al. The old gray mare just ain’t what she used to be.

    This is not to put down Garnett and Pierce, especially Garnett. They’re still good players, just not enough to get the team over the top. They can’t play as much or as well as they did five years ago, that’s all.

  12. kb2408 - May 4, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    @andrew17, I’m just saying, KG compared the C’s to the Beatles, Doc said the starting five of Perk, KG, PP, Ray and Rondo had never lost a series. But after all that bluster…..1 title?
    #nowi’mtrolling!

    • loungefly74 - May 5, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      LOL. oh…that’s gotta hurt (C fans)!

  13. mudhead123 - May 4, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Fun watching Boston sports blow up

  14. jimmymarlinsfan - May 4, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Either way Ainge doesn’t have a job in Boston in another 3 years

  15. misterdreamer119 - May 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Paul pierce is old, slow and weak. Hes finished. Im a celtics man but the nba is a young mans game.

  16. andyhr17 - May 4, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Yeah, he’s not what he was but he averaged 18.6 4.8 6.3 this season. He was 14th in the league in scoring. Is that your definition of “done”. Jesus, do people here even watch basketball or just post criticism based off of what other people say or what they believe because they’re so delusional. Those are solid numbers that plenty of teams competing for a title next year would take as the missing piece to their puzzle. He just can’t carry the full load himself anymore.

  17. loungefly74 - May 5, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    (hmmmm….time to turn the tables)…yeah, what are the Celtics going to do? 1 title since the start of a “great would-be dynasty”? I would have thought more from them. what a disappointment. I don’t know what this team will do in the next few years to move ahead of the Heat and other eastern contenders…they have a lot of issues.

    signed,

    a Lakers fan (who is enjoying an opportunity to smack talk on other teams)

    • scalfor3 - May 5, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Lets be realistic. The Big 3 era only had a 3 year window to seriously contend due to their age. They won one championship, lost one in 7 games to an excellent Lakers team (I hated the officiating at the end of that game 7, but its a moot point if Sheed had been in shape) and the other year was a wash because KG got hurt. If anything, the Big 3 era overachieved by staying in the mix every year for six years.

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