When it was obvious the Celtics were going to lose Game 7, Doc Rivers subbed out his Big Three one final time for the season.
For Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, we know it won't be for the final times of their careers -- but what about Kevin Garnett?
Garnett hasn't publicly spoken since the loss, and being an unrestricted free agent going into his 18th season, there's a real chance he even retires. He could also go to any other NBA team interested in bringing him on.
But Kendrick Perkins, a former teammate of Garnett's, tells the Boston Globe that he thinks if Garnett does choose basketball for at least another season, the Celtics are his team.
I feel like if he does return to basketball, I think that that would be the team, Perkins said of the Celtics. I heard Kevin say a few times that he wouldnt want to play for anybody but Doc, so it will be interesting to see. I still think he got a lot more years in him. He got a lot of love for the game and it would be hard to see Kevin walk away from the game right now.
Perkins went on to say that Garnett found the "Fountain of Youth" this season, and that was pretty apparent based on his averages: 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 blocks. Those numbers compare with his 2008-09 season cut short by a knee injury that forced him to miss the end of the regular season and entire postseason.
With Garnett hitting free agency during an offseason where there aren't a lot of great centers, there should be numerous teams vying for his services. But if Perkins is right, Garnett will tune them out.
Often times reporting something can shake something loose from another source. That might have been the case Thursday morning.
Just eight minutes after Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Celtics and Pacers were not in advanced discussions on Paul George because of Boston’s unwillingness to deal the Nets’ 2017 first-round pick, he sent a follow-up saying sources had indicated that the pick was indeed in play.
George, 26, will be a free agent after the 2017-18 season.
It seems the Celtics can throw yet another piece onto their treasure trove of assets.
The Celtics stashed two of their first-round picks from the 2016 draft overseas and in the process have seen 23rd overall pick Ante Zizic establish himself as a very promising NBA prospect.
The Croatian center, currently playing in the Turkish League, has boosted his stock with a strong season in what’s expected to be his last before joining the Celtics. Appearing on Toucher and Rich Thursday morning, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor said that Zizic has improved to the point that he would be a top-10 pick in the 2017 draft. “He looks really good,” O’Connor said. “I liked him last year when I first watched him. I thought, ‘Good energy big man. He’ll have a solid career,’ but then the more you watch him, the more you see.
“This year, he’s really taken a step forward. All his strengths look better. All the things he was already good at like screening, rebounding and rim-protection, he looks better. But he’s also starting to flash a little bit of a mid-range jumper, and he’s never had bad mechanics, but now that shot’s starting to fall. So maybe he can be more than that energy big man. Maybe he’s a little bit more dynamic than that.
“If I’m the Celtics, I value him as you’re getting a top-10 pick this yea. I think he’d go around nine or 10 in this draft.”