Flip Saunders, who coached Kevin Garnett in Minnesota from 1995-2005, is pretty confident that KG will be back in Celtics green next season.
Saunders worked as a consultant for Doc Rivers and the Celtics this postseason and told the Minneapolis StarTribune this weekend that he was ‘positive’ that Garnett would return to Boston for the 2012-2013 season.
From the StarTrib:
One reason Rivers brought in Saunders was his great relationship with Kevin Garnett. And Saunders said that KG played like he did with the Wolves in 2003-04, when he was named league MVP.
“I remember when we drafted KG [in 1995], we said to him his first year, we played him as a small forward and I told him you’re going to be an All-Pro player as a power forward but you’re probably going to end your career as a center,” Saunders said. “And with Garnett playing center, the Celtics after the All-Star break had the third-best record in the NBA.”
Garnett really showed great strength at center in the postseason, averaging 19.2 points — his highest playoff average since 2007-08 — and 10.3 rebounds per game.
Saunders is positive Garnett, who is a free agent, will sign for another year with the Celtics, who have some rebuilding to do.
Garnett is reportedly seriously considering retiring from the NBA after 17 seasons, but this is the first public statement coming from somebody close to KG indicating where he’s at in his decision. Considering the amount of time Saunders has shared a relationship with Garnett, his words should hold some serious weight.
According to NESN, Garnett is reportedly waiting to see what direction the Celtics are going in before he signs on for another year or two with the club. The Celtics, meanwhile, are apparently waiting to see what direction Garnett wants to go in before they commit to a set plan for next season’s roster.
Regardless, I’m hoping Coach Saunders is right here because, aside from KG being one of my favorite players, the Celtics could seriously use Garnett back next season if they truly hope to contend for an 18th title.