Report: Kevin Garnett returning for one more year, Paul Millsap plan A [Update: w/ Quotes]

According to the always reliable Jackie MacMullan, it appears that Kevin Garnett will not be retiring early. Not yet anyway.

MacMullan was on Comcast Sports Net tonight when she dropped the bomb that the Celtics defensive leader would be returning for the 2013-14 season. It has yet to be confirmed by anyone else.

Huge props to Mr Triple Double of RedsArmy for passing along the quotes on twitter.

There's obviously a couple of significant things to take away from MacMullan's quotes.

First, Kevin Garnett is returning?

This news would effect the Celtics in a number of both positive and negative ways. The positive being that one of the team's top players and by far best defensive player is returning. The negative is that for those that were hoping for a rebuild or landing a semi-major free-agent, that will have to wait at least another year. Garnett's return should clog up much of the cap and prevent any major moves.

Second, Paul Millsap as plan A?

That has to be positive news for Celtic fans, but also comes with a potential negative. If the Celtics return both KG and Pierce it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to be able to pay Paul Millsap. In our free-agency preview by Mike Dyer, Millsap was graded as a big money target. The negative here could be that Danny Ainge is planning on moving on without Paul Pierce, as some early rumors seemed to suggest. MacMullan also says that Garnett's return isn't contingent on Pierce and instead seems to suggest that Garnett is actually the first piece to the Celtics' off-season puzzle.

Could this mean Pierce's time in green is done? Its way too early to tell. However, it does appear to be heading that way. Danny Ainge did state that he thought the team was more than one player away from a championship, which means he doesn't feel very optimistic about the current core. Still, there is plenty of time before the end of June and it's not until then that we will see which rumors we've been hearing in May actually come to fruition.


CSNNE finally posted the actual quotes from Jackie MacMullan herself on the above, here they are transcribed courtesy CSNNE.

"Who holds all the cards? Kevin Garnett," MacMullan said. "Kevin Garnett may or may not need surgery, we haven't heard either way. That might determine whether he wants to come back for another year. I'm hearing that he wants to come back for one year. That's what I'm hearing right now. So if he comes back for one more year- he holds all the cards, he has a no-trade clause, he can kind of call the shots here. If he comes back, maybe he says 'Well, I'm not coming back unless Pierce comes back.

"Maybe you make a trade for Pierce at the deadline. You have deadlines with Pierce. Pierce holds none of the cards. So it all depends on KG. So that's why nothing's happened yet. Because I don't think KG's fully decided, A) if he needs surgery, B) if he was going to do the surgery, C) if he wants to come back. I think if he wants to come back he'll probably play for Boston. So that's why you haven't heard anything, because we're all waiting for KG."

If KG leaves..

"Then you can definitely wave goodbye to Paul Pierce," MacMullan said. "And listen, we all know they love Paul Millsap. We all know that. Can they put together a sign-and-trade package? Can they sign him outright, can they clear enough money? I don't think so. But we also know that Al Jefferson is out there. Do they take Al Jefferson back, who's not going to be as coveted as Paul Millsap for obvious reasons, injury history, and so on. Is that plausible?"

On Doc Rivers:

"He's the highest paid coach in the league," she said. "Pop gets more money, but he has more duties, more responsibilities, Gregg Popovich. Do you think he's going to walk away from all that money? Because if he goes to TNT or wherever, first of all he's not going to make that and second of all, I think it's going to be a little thorny before they let him out of that deal. I think eventually they will."