OFFSEASON

Garnett reaches 25,000 points in Celtics' win over Lakers

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Garnett reaches 25,000 points in Celtics' win over Lakers

BOSTON There will come a time when the game will eventually pass Kevin Garnett by.
And with each milestone he passes, that time becomes closer.
Thursday was yet another accomplishment for Garnett, who joined one of the more exclusive clubs in NBA history.
At the 8:08 mark in the second quarter of Boston's 116-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Garnett scored his sixth point of the night, which punched his ticket into the 25,000 career point club. He finished with 15 points and now has 25,009.
The 25K club is one of the more exclusive fraternities in the NBA, now 16 deep with Garnett.
"I'm sure someday I'll fall back and rock in my rocking chair having a cigar, thinking about what I've done," Garnett said. "I'm sure it will make some sense to me."
Garnett's ascension to being one of the NBA's all-time great scorers is an amazing feat for a player who has spent the bulk of his career taking great pride in being one of the league's elite defenders.
But with most of his career spent in Minnesota, Garnett had little choice but to become a high-volume scorer ... and rebounder ... and assist man ... and just about every job imaginable for the Timberwolves except tossing t-shirts into the stands during time-outs.
Since arriving in Boston prior to the 2007-2008 season, Garnett has been tasked with anchoring a Celtics defense that has been among the NBA's best annually.
For the 36-year-old, that is as ideal a fit as he could have.
But in achieving this latest milestone, it speaks volumes as to how talented Garnett is as an all-around player.
Only 15 players to ever suit up in the NBA have scored more than Garnett, and yet the imprint he leaves on most games is at the defensive end of the floor.
"You know what's funny is he's a great offensive player," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "But that tells you he's so good defensively that you rarely hear about Kevin being a great offensive player."
As much as Garnett deserves to be praised for what he has done in the NBA as a scorer, he'll be the first to acknowledge that his success offensively involves so many other folks.
Said Garnett: "I told Doc when I came here to all the coaches and ex-players and current players and systems and organizations, this great organization that I play for, I'm more than honored, because without the systems and the coaches, and obviously players that put you in a position to score the basketball none of this would be possible."
And making it even more special was that it came with at least one family member more than usual at the game.
"You know my family, my baby, she got to be at the game tonight and see it. Thank you for snow days," Garnett said. "She got to come to the game tonight which is kind of unusual, so it was good to have her here. It was great."

OFFSEASON

Kevin Durant solidifying invitations for free agent meetings, including Celtics

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Kevin Durant solidifying invitations for free agent meetings, including Celtics

The wheels of the Kevin Durant free agent train have been set in motion.

"Durant’s representatives at Roc Nation are working to solidify invitations" for meetings with a list of five teams, which includes the Boston Celtics, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. The other teams listed are the Warriors, Clippers, Heat, Spurs and Thunder. The Nuggets, Knicks, Lakers, Rockets, and Wizards could "could still find audiences with him," but they are considered outsiders.

Wojnarowski says the Thunder remain the frontrunners, but "the Warriors have Durant's attention."

If Durant chooses the Warriors it could happen very quickly. Warriors restricted free agent Harrison Barnes could sign an offer sheet for a contract on July 1, which would mean the Warriors would have only have three days to match the deal. They'd likely need a decision from Durant before then, or they'd risk losing one of their valuable pieces without being able to fill his role.

Durant plans on making his decision before July 9 anyway, according to Wojnarowski, because that's when he's leaving for a publicity tour in the Far East.

The fact the Celtics are even on Durant's primary list shouldn't come as a surprise considering his actions after his game in Boston against the Celtics earlier this year. They do have tough competition though. Both the Warriors and Heat have the cap space to absorb Durant's likely max contract worth about $26.4 million, and the Spurs can easily create the space if necessary.

The Clippers are interesting though, because they'd have to deal one of their stars (Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, or Blake Griffin) to free the cap space to sign Durant. If he does choose the Clippers, maybe Danny Ainge could help Doc Rivers swing a deal. How about something involving Blake Griffin and Jae Crowder?

But the Celtics have an edge. Their the only team listed that can sign two max contract free agents. If Durant wants to play with his buddy Al Horford, or anyone else for that matter, the Celtics can make it happen easily. How about a 2007 draft class reunion with Durant, Horford, and Jared Dudley? It's an odd trio, but Dudley has already expressed interest in joining the Celtics.

No matter what happens, though, the Celtics are in the race. Celtics fans might be disappointed after Thursday night. But we're just getting started, folks.

Kevin O’Connor can be followed on Twitter: @KevinOConnorNBA

OFFSEASON

Northeastern's Walker, Ford sign with NBA teams after going undrafted

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Northeastern's Walker, Ford sign with NBA teams after going undrafted

The NBA will have more of a Northeastern flavor this season.

The Huskies' star guard David Walker is joining the Miami Heat for the NBA's summer league in Orlando and Las Vegas, according to Sports Illustrated's Jake Fischer.

Walker averaged 17.9 points and 4.0 assists per game as a senior at Northeastern.

Quincy Ford is heading to the Utah Jazz with a partially guaranteed three-year contract after averaging 16.4 points, 7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game as a senior. That deal was first reported by The Vertical's Shams Charania.