In this series, we at The Brooklyn Game examine the players on this Nets roster that have a decision to make — and what the Nets can do. Today’s look is at Kevin Garnett.
What the Nets can offer Kevin Garnett:
They don’t have to! As part of the deal that brought him to Brooklyn, Garnett has his 2014-2015 contract fully guaranteed -— all $12 million. However, the future Hall of Famer’s achy body has unceremoniously broken down in the last year, and Garnett may walk away from basketball completely.
Why Kevin Garnett would stay:
Garnett agreed to waive his no-trade clause and go to Brooklyn in the first place only if the entirety of his contract was guaranteed. Perhaps the legend saw this drop-off coming ahead of time, or maybe he opted in to guarantee he’d play two more seasons. In that vein, the Nets can’t make him stay for anything: he’s under contract for another season at $12 million and Brooklyn will have to pay it all if KG walks back through that door.
Whether or not Garnett believes he has a place in the league anymore is irrelevant: he’s got twelve million great reasons to sit through another NBA season even if he doesn’t play a minute.
Why Kevin Garnett would go:
Historically, you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody to willingly sacrifice that sum of money, but Garnett might. Emotionally spent after being eliminated by Miami, Garnett ducked every required media session, presumably to ponder his forthcoming fate in the NBA.
Another underrated factor that may greatly play into Garnett’s decision? Paul Pierce. Before the mega-deal happened last summer, it was reported that Garnett was unequivocally tied to Pierce’s ship: Garnett would only leave Boston in lieu of retiring if it were with Pierce. Now, Pierce is a free agent weighing his options. Could Pierce be a target for a contender looking to get over the final hump? Could Pierce attempt to reunite with current Clippers Coach Doc Rivers?
Simply put, Garnett’s decision could depend on Pierce’s choice to re-sign with Brooklyn or flee for greener pastures like Boston. We may not know their fates for some time.
Garnett retires. With Livingston, Blatche and Kirilenko possibly moving on in attempts to receive a larger contract, Pierce may figure that the championship window with Brooklyn has closed. If he moves on to sign a one-year deal with Boston or the contending Los Angeles Clippers, reuniting with former coach and friend Doc Rivers, Garnett may decide he doesn’t want another injury-riddled, slow-moving season.
Even if Garnett sticks around for the money and his body can’t handle the rigors of the season, it could be in an player/assistant position, not unlike Jerry Stackhouse’s role last season.