As the NBA playoffs continue to play out, fans of the Celtics are already looking forward to what exactly will happen during the offseason. The biggest question marks surround their two aging franchise players, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Depending on who you talk to, the futures for both players are still very much up in the air. The question is, if one leaves, would the other stay?
Kevin Garnett joined the Celtics in 2007 in search of winning a NBA championship. Along with fellow newcomer Ray Allen, the duo paired with Paul Pierce to win the 2008 title. Since then, Allen has moved on, but Pierce and Garnett have developed a strong bond in Boston to become fantasy basketball gold. Although the core is aging, it appears as though the Celtics are willing to make one last run at a title if Garnett wishes to return.
Boston has a lot of decisions to make, but Garnett’s decision might be the biggest of them all. If he goes to another team, there is really no reason to bring back Pierce. It would prompt Danny Ainge to go into rebuilding mode, and the team would try to get value out of Pierce and to save some money. If both of them leave, Doc Rivers probably is not coming back either. That would be a big blow to the stability of the franchise, but most fans have expected this to happen eventually.
Garnett and Pierce have been friends for a long time, and although the chance of retirement is still out there, it does not appear as though Garnett is quite ready to hang it up yet. That is why the longer this drags out, the better chance that there will be at least one more season of Garnett and Pierce in Boston. Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger are expected to make full recoveries during the offseason, and the Celtics are still a very dangerous team at full strength. Remember, this team took it to a Game 7 against the Heat just one season ago in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The two future Hall of Famers are a package deal in that they either both stay, or they both leave. The way it looks right now, both appear to be leaning slightly towards staying with the Celtics.