Kevin Garnett, a staple in the NBA and one of the league’s most memorable personalities since he was drafted in 1995, isn’t done just yet. According to sources of ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, Garnett is preparing to return to the Brooklyn Nets in 2014-15 for what will be his 20th season.
For the first time in his career, Garnett showed real signs of finally slowing down this season with the Nets, averaging just 6.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game. The 38-year-old veteran played limited minutes and his decline prevented him from being the defensive anchor the Nets envisioned when they first traded for him a year ago.
However, the Nets had one of the best records in 2014 after getting off to a 10-21 start and Brooklyn’s defense was nearly in the top 10. After Brook Lopez‘s injury, head coach Jason Kidd utilized Garnett in different ways in quite a few versatile lineups that gave opponents problems on both ends of the floor. KG will make $12 million next season if he returns.
King said he’s had some conversations with Kevin Garnett, remains optimistic he’ll return. Said KG is working out sooner than last year.
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) June 25, 2014
After trading three first round draft picks and five players a year ago to assemble this team that was supposed to challenge the Miami Heat in the East, however, there is some pressure on the Nets in free agency. Paul Pierce, KG’s ride-or-die partner from his days with the Boston Celtics, is an unrestricted free agent this summer. Shaun Livingston is also a free agent and will command some nice offers from a few teams after his stellar 2013-14 campaign. Andray Blatche and Alan Anderson have also opted out of their contracts and will test free agency.
Despite averaging career lows in points per game and field goal percentage this season, Garnett’s return is good news for the Nets, not only because of the veteran leadership and mental toughness he brings, but also because his return will likely sway his buddy Pierce to re-sign in Brooklyn as well. With so much money invested in this team already, it appears the Nets may have to trudge forward with their aging pieces for better or worse.
Still, when it comes to free agency and the lavish spending of the Nets, Kevin Garnett said it best himself: Anything is possible.