Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I haven’t really thought about it, to be honest with you. I’m kind of digesting , obviously, the current, and Doc came to me, pulled Paul and I to the side and all three of us agreed to speak later — too emotional,” said Garnett. “Obviously, it was a big game, tough loss, especially at home. But more importantly in the future, it’s a different day for that conversation.”
While Garnett swatted away most inquiries about his future, he spoke strongly about how the organization’s decision on whether to retain Pierce, whose contract is only $5 million guaranteed and could be an amnesty candidate, could play into his status.
“One of the big reasons I came [to Boston] was because of Paul,” said Garnett. “Obviously, you want to be in a situation where it’s better. I want to make sure that I’m able to always help a team. I want to be in positions to where I’m giving something. I demand a lot of myself, both physically and from a skill level. But I’d be lying to y’all if I said Paul didn’t play into that factor. Like I said, it’s too soon of a conversation for me right now.”
Asked if he expected to be back in Boston next season, 35-year-old Pierce said that was a question for the Celtics’ front office.
“That’s up to [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] and them,” said Pierce. “I have no idea.”
Talked to some close to Paul, they are certain he’s played his last game as a Celtic. Their quote, all good things must come to an end
Paul Pierce did say he would return for a 16th season, he’s just unsure what jersey he’ll be wearing. KG says he’s undecided and will be influenced by Paul’s fate. Add Doc Rivers to the mix of uncertainty, too. But I’d be stunned if Doc’s not back next season.
It’s possible ownership bows to sentimentality and refuses to part with Pierce. If that’s true, then I would relegate both Garnett and Pierce to reserve roles. Go full throttle with Rondo, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger. Starting KG and Pierce, again, would only lead us down this same road. There are two problems with this scenario a) the team will likely be mediocre and b) it leaves Danny Ainge with very little flexibility in adding necessary complimentary pieces (like a starting center).
I think it’s time to rip the band-aid off on Pierce. He’s not a 35 minute a night workhorse anymore and he’s definitely not worth the $15 million. The bad moments far outweigh the good ones. The C’s cannot buy him out for $5 million and bring him back at a reduced number.
I do see value in keeping Garnett, provided he wants to stay sans Pierce. Big men are still at a premium. He could come off the bench, provided a spark for 20 minutes a game while mentoring the young guys.
This is a fluid and complex situation. There are several, intertwined scenarios.
Unfortunately, I don’t see any that lead us to Banner 18 next season.
Amid all the question marks, I can say one thing with confidence: I truly enjoyed watching KG and the Truth lead this team.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – It’s hard, but it’s time to say goodbye | Final Terry diary: Looking back, forward | C’s go down swinging | CSNNE – Pierce faces uncertain future | Garnett – Waiting for the Truth | Herald – Pierce, KG consider future | C’s throw good scare | Rivers leaves door open | Rejuvenated Bradley ignites rally | Globe – Pierce, Garnett unsure | WEEI – Cold hard truth hits Pierce |