In one of the more shocking developments of the almost-NBA offseason, Kevin Garnett has emerged as possibly the third most coveted free agent around. If you buy into pure speculation and largely unverified rumors, the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat all have an interest in acquiring his talents at some point in the foreseeable future. And then there are also the Boston Celtics, who may or may not be interested in retaining him.
Oh, and according to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, he might retire.
Here is a quick rundown of all of the places that are supposedly chomping at the bit to bring K.G. in this summer:
“The Spurs will consider everything and everyone this summer when free agency begins. But one option tossed out this weekend by one in the Spurs organization is not just another name. Kevin Garnett... Some will have more money to offer than the Spurs will. Some might have more young talent to put around him. All the Spurs could give Garnett is the closest thing to what he had in Boston, a veteran core with a chance to contend.” – Buck Harvey, San Antonio Express News
“Garnett made $21.2 million in the final year of a three-year extension he inked upon being traded to Boston in the summer of 2007. His personal resurgence in the second half of the 2012 season fueled the Celtics on their run to the Eastern Conference finals and would seemingly encourage the 36-year-old Garnett to come back for an 18th season.
“It might have also increased his value in a league devoid of quality big men. But the Celtics will have money to spend this summer and, if they decide to keep their core intact, can afford to offer a quality one-year deal that will still maintain salary cap flexibility next offseason (when a larger overhaul would be more likely given available elite talent).” – Chris Forsberg, ESPN.
“Why not a return to Chicago? Garnett played his senior year of high school basketball in Chicago. Garnett recently spoke in Chicago about mentoring kids. He has made at least $16 million for 13 years in a row. He's got the money.” – Matt Trowbridge, Rockford Register Sta
“There are other possible landing places as well. Maybe the Lakers? Garnett has a home in Malibu, and the Lakers have Kobe Bryant. What they don’t have is cap room, but that can be resolved if they agree to a sign and trade for Pau Gasol.” – Shaun Powell, NBA.com.
“…or maybe how the Miami Heat would be unstoppable if Garnett took a discount to play alongside the Miami Thrice.” – Chris Forsberg, ESPN.
“Prediction: KG retires, Ray Allen walks (Miami, NY are atop his list, I'm told), Pierce is dangled in a trade.” – Chris Mannix, SI.
It's hard to imagine Garnett retiring or landing with the Spurs or Heat. It's a bit easier to see him in a Lakers or Bulls inform. But if I had a to put money on it, presuming Danny Ainge isn’t looking to completely dismantle the roster this summer and go into rebuilding mode, I’d bet that he returns to Boston.