Life After KG
Last summer the Celtics resigned 36 year old Kevin Garnett to a new 3yr/$34 mil deal. After one season, retirement is already looking likely. Ol' KG was having another impact season, being honored to start in yet another All Star Game, 15th of his career. Near the end of the '12-'13 season Garnett suffered foot, ankle, and hip injuries - almost all at the same time. Throughout Boston's short playoff appearance Garnett, age, injuries and all, managed to lead his team and the entire league in rebounding. The Celtics shortest playoff run during the "Big Three/Four" era led to the future of Garnett and teammate Paul Pierce being up in the air. Both are under contract for next season, but will they make "one more run" in Boston where the immediate future looks bleak? Will they retire? Those are the biggest topics this offseason for the Celtics and their fans.
If KG does indeed hang up the hightops, Boston does have a young and developing core led by Paul Pierce & Rajon Rondo, but is a team led by this core a contending team? Obviously Rondo may not suit up for a portion of next season (hopefully he doesn't pull a D.Rose on us) along with Jared Sullinger, so the core is down to 4 with Pierce, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, and Brandon Bass. Again, is that a contending team, or even a playoff team?
Contender? No way in hell. Playoff team? Maybe, but they will definitely need a find a guy to fill KG's void if we want to make some noise in the East and become a contender again.
Over and over again, we have mentioned Al Jefferson as a potential pickup this summer. Personally, I would love Big Al to return to Boston. His offensive game has developed beyond what I thought it would, but his defense still needs work. He can bring the post scoring and rebounding that Boston would be in need of after KG leaves. It also wouldn't be a 'brand new' face since he has chemistry with Doc, Pierce, and Rajon Rondo.
Demarcus Cousins is another name that has been floating around. I'm not the biggest fan of Cousins, but I do like his scrappy type of game. He plays hard as hell, seemingly with an edge every night, but his attitude is always getting him into trouble. Aside from that, the guy is a beast averaging 17 points and 10 boards a night. I definitely wouldn't mind seeing Cousins' aggressiveness in green.
In the playoffs the Celtics were in desperate need of a ball handler. After choosing to return from retirement, Keyon Dooling was picked up for cheap this season by Memphis. Dooling's ball handling and veteran leadership was huge for the Celtics during their 2012 playoff run. I'm not sure if he would want to back track from a WCF Grizz team and join an reloading C's squad, but his talents would definitely help while Rondo is recovering. Free agents Nate Robinson and Daniel Gibson could also be brought in to fill the backup PG role.
There are a ton of different scenarios that could happen this summer. What I find likely to happen is Ainge trading Lee and/or Jet considering they both played FAR worse than we imagined they would. Jason Terry does have that huge tattoo of the Celtics logo on his arm - something not too attractive to other teams. Terry P mentioned Jeff Green as trade bait as well, for the opposite reason though. Green had a very impressive season and I'm pretty sure other teams are interested in his services. This years FA list isn't super attractive, but there are names on there that can be brought in to help Boston once Garnett (and/or Pierce) retire, or get traded.
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