The Celtics are at a crossroads and the shrouded future of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are a large reason why. Pierce is only guaranteed $5MM next year if the Celtics waive him before June 30th. But he's owed $15.3MM next year if they decide to make another run with this group, or deal him for assets.
Sources revealed to Jackie MacMullan at ESPNBoston.com yesterday, that Garnett will play next year even if Pierce doesn't come back. But it's likely the aging star would retire if the Celtics blow it up entirely. Garnett still has 2 years and over $24MM left on the 3-year deal he signed last summer.
Then again, anything that's considered "likely" for the Celtics will be "laughed at" because nothing is certain at this point. Plus, trading Pierce and excavating the rest of the Celtics' aging roster will be hard to do with the money still owed Jason Terry, Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee.
Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston.com attacked the Celtics' offseason plans with a four-pronged approach, and he finally finished with his fourth hypothetical: a complete teardown. Starting over for the C's involves general manager Danny Ainge unloading the rest of the nucleus that won the Celtics a title in 2008, and was just one fourth quarter collapse away from a second in 2010.
Here's what else is happening around the league as the Pacers beat the Heat 91-77 to force a game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night.
- Heat owner Micky Arison doesn't care about the summer of 2014 when LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all have early termination options. Arison told the Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman he's only focused on winning a title this year.
- The Oklahoman continues their series of 2012/13 Thunder season reviews with beat reporter John Rohde looking at Nick Collison (also: Collison grades & roundtable with Rohde, Tramel and Mayberry).
- Rohde also spent most of the night on Twitter answering questions about the Thunder's offseason questions.
- Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, spoke with Ben & Skin at KRLD-FM 105.3, and the Dallas Morning News has the highlights of their chat.
- Mike Malone will be formally introduced to the media as the Kings' new head coach on Monday.
- The Bulls head athletic trainer, Fred Tedeschi, was named the 2012/13 Joe O'Toole NBA Athletic Trainer of the Year.