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Richest NBA player in league history
KG is coming back and Celtics fans should be thrilled at this news. That's a no brainer. Why wouldn't you want a guy who leaves it all out on the floor and has such a positive effect on his teammates? Why wouldn't you want a guy who played better than any other big man in this year's playoffs? I know some fans had hopes that KG would take a hometown discount, so that the Celtics could afford to add some more pieces to compete with the Thunder and Heat. Others even dreamed of KG playing one more year for the NBA minimum as former stars, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, and Shaquille O'Neal did late in their careers.

Even if KG had signed for the league minimum, Garnett would have ended his career as the richest NBA player in league history based on salary. He's already made $291,362,398. Think about that number for a bit. Look, KG is entitled to ask for as much money as he likes. When he came to the Celtics he got an additional 3 yr, $60 million extension added to his record setting lucrative contract. He could have taken less, so the Celtics would have had more flexibility for a supporting cast, but he didn't. As much as we like to hate on both Wade and LeBron, it was their decision to take less that enabled the Heat to also add Bosh (and retain Haslem after that).

The crazy thing is Garnett actually could have asked for more at that time of the 2007 trade. And again this Summer if he really wanted every last penny KG could have shopped his services and gotten more either from another team or from the Celtics. Do you honestly think if the Nets offered $40 million that the Celtics wouldn't agree to match that number or offer more? KG will end his career having made over $325,000,000. The Celtics should be able to be contenders for at least another year. The (hypothetical) question then is what would KG prefer: two rings and $310,000,000 or one ring and 325,000,000?

The idea of the Celtics having cap space to sign a marquee free agent like Roy Hibbert or Eric Gordon was predicated on either KG retiring or taking a small contract. That's not happening now. KG almost left Minnesota until they gave him his $200 million dollar groundbreaking deal. At this point of his life, I think KG would have chosen to retire over leaving for another new team. So is KG simply greedy or is it a pride thing? Is KG insulted by the idea of making less than guys he feels he's still better than? KG wanted the past season cancelled over agreeing to the deal that the NBA Players Association eventually signed. He would have given up $21 million right there, so obviously money isn't the be all end all for Garnett.

I'm sure by now KG has to understand how the salary cap works. By asking for $34 million that means one or more of Green, Ray, Bass, Stiemsma, etc will most likely have to be let go (just like his last contract with the Celtics meant a guy like Posey probably couldn't get paid). So while I'm thrilled that the Celtics have re-signed the Big Ticket, a part of me just wished $300,000,000 would have been enough for Garnett. What are your thoughts on the $34 million?




Kevin Garnett's annual salary via Basketball-Reference

Michael Jordan's annual salary via Basketball-Reference

Karl Malone's annual salary via Basketball-Reference

Shaquille O'Neal's annual salary via Basketball-Reference

Addendum: Shouldn't have to add this, but since Celtics Life probably has the most fanatical fans out of all the Celtics blogs out there, let me add this is NOT a negative KG piece. I'm thrilled he's coming back. It's just that personally I feel a blog should present multiple opinions.

2nd point is until we hear the exact terms, we're working under the premise that KG signed for 3 years, $34 million. He could get bought out at some point and make more per year than $11.33 million in the end. Or the final year could be a straight team option (very doubtful without a buyout).

JR 6/30/2012 10:40:00 PM Edit
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