Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated is the latest to say that Kevin Garnett will be back with the Nets next year, rather than retire.
Nets continuing to operate with the belief that Kevin Garnett will return next season, sources say. KG has been in contact with the team.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 14, 2014
Expectation that KG comes back is what makes most league-types doubt Duncan retires. Players just don't often leave real money on the table.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 14, 2014
Last week, Billy King told beat writers that he was planning on KG's return.
"He’s under contract. Until he tells me otherwise he’s under contract...He’s under contract so until I hear something differently you plan accordingly because he is under contract."
Indeed, multiple sources have indicated that the Nets expect KG back, that $12 million is a lot of money to leave on the table. Garnett is in the last year of the deal he signed in Boston and is guaranteed the full $12 million. In the original contract, the Celtics had the right to buy out Garnett's final year at $6 million. According to multiple reports, before Garnett would agree to join the Nets --he has no-trade clause in his contract as well -- the Nets had to guarantee the full $12 million.
KG's return is likely to influence several other off-season moves. It makes Paul Pierce's return more likely and could help Andrei Kirilenko in his decision on whether to opt out. AK-47 has said he will base his decision in part on whether he believes the Nets will be competitive next season. Moreover, the Nets can now more easily part with Andray Blatche if KG, Mason Plumlee, Brook Lopez, Mirza Teletovic, Kirilenko and Pierce are all back upfront.