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Kevin Garnett was non-committal when asked during the Brooklyn Nets’ media day if this will be his final NBA season.
In his first season with the Nets, Garnett had the worst campaign of his Hall of Fame career. Last season, Garnett averaged 6.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in just 20.5 minutes per game.
Over the last few seasons, Garnett has suffered through various injuries and his commitment to continue playing has clearly waned. However, Garnett is one of the most intense players in the league, and he only would have committed to playing another season if he was fully dedicated and convinced that he could still be an impact player.
With Lionel Hollins taking over as head coach this season, the Nets will likely move to a slow-paced offense, which will rely heavily on its big men. Hollins has already stated he will give Garnett as much playing time as he can handle, so Garnett will have the opportunity to show he is still one of the better big men in the NBA, even at age 38. If he has a bounce-back season and the Nets can find some postseason success, Garnett may find himself willing to play beyond this upcoming season.
If this is in fact Garnett’s last season, it will be the end of what has been an illustrious NBA career. Garnett is an NBA champion, 15-time All-Star and is one of only four players in NBA history to play 20 seasons in the NBA (the others being Robert Parrish, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Willis).
The Boston Celtics suffered a major setback on Friday after star point guard Rajon Rondo underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in his left hand. Rondo is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, which means he will miss the beginning of the upcoming season.
Throughout the offseason there has been speculation that the Celtics could trade point Rondo. Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck recently stated that Rondo is “super stubborn,” and questioned how coachable he is. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge also recently stated that he has no intention of trading Rondo, but that nobody is untradeable. These are the strongest statements from the Celtics that suggest Rondo could eventually be moved, but both Ainge and Grousbeck stated that, ideally, they want Rondo to stay in Boston long-term.
Rondo missed a significant portion of last season as he recovered from an ACL tear in his right knee that he suffered in January of 2013. In 30 games last year, Rondo averaged 11.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 9.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Despite playing less minutes per game than he did in 2012-13, Rondo managed to put up numbers that were in line with his pre-injury production. However, the Celtics are rebuilding and Rondo is set to be an unrestricted free agent after this season. At age 28, it may make most sense to move Rondo and acquire more pieces to add to the rebuild in Boston rather than risk losing him for nothing.
Nevertheless, Rondo has been with the Celtics his entire career, won a championship in 2007-08, is a four-time All-Star and when healthy is a nightly triple-double threat. Both sides have stated that they want to move forward together, but things may change as the season moves on. Rondo has spent the majority of his career playing for winning teams, and may lose patience playing for a team in the middle of a rebuild.
There have been many questions regarding Rondo’s long-term future in Boston. This latest setback just adds another layer of complication to the situation.
On Friday, the San Antonio Spurs announced that they agreed to a one-year, $2.1 million contract with center Aron Baynes. By re-signing Baynes, the Spurs bring back their playoff roster from last season, with the sole addition being rookie Kyle Anderson.
Last season, Baynes averaged three points and 2.7 rebounds per game in 9.3 minutes per game. He has shown flashes of being a solid NBA player, but with so little playing time he has not been able to do so consistently. This is a very reasonable deal for the Spurs who are primed to defend their championship this upcoming season. However, if Baynes has a big year, the Spurs’ ability to re-sign Baynes next offseason will be limited as they won’t have his full Bird rights.
The Spurs now have 15 players with guaranteed contracts on the roster and are likely done making any significant moves before the start of the upcoming season.
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