|Connelly’s Top Ten: Dog Pound to Get Pounded||Red Sox Sign Reliever Edward Mujica||Daniel Bard Non-Tendered by Theo Epstein, Cubs||State of the Celtics: Atlantic Division in Sights|
As you may have already heard, The Boston Celtics re-signed Kevin Garnett to a three year deal worth $34 million. After more than a week of silence from the Garnett camp, Celtic nation finally received their answer on what KG’s future plans were. While a three year deal for a player who is already 36 years old seems like a stretch, it is undoubtedly a steal for the Celtics.
Garnett earned about $21 million last season, which makes the approximate $11 million he will make next season seem like a bargain. There will be plenty of people who think this deal is too long for a player of Garnett’s age, but after the performance he put on this past postseason it is hard to argue that he didn’t earn this contract.
In 60 games played in the lockout shortened NBA season, Garnett averaged 31.1 minutes, 15.8 points, and 8.2 rebounds per game. In the postseason all Garnett’s numbers increased and he averaged 36.9 minutes, 19.2 points, and 10.3 rebounds per game. The same 36 year old who people said was declining in play half-way through the season, averaged a double-double in a postseason that saw the Celtics push the NBA champion Heat to the brink of elimination.
Garnett put the team on his back in the postseason in the wake of multiple injuries. Ray Allen missed the last nine games of the regular season and the first two games of the Celtics’ playoff series against the Hawks with bone spurs in his ankle. Paul Pierce and Mickael Pietrus were both playing with knee injuries. Avery Bradley was shut down in the middle of the playoffs after having two shoulder surgeries.
Watching Garnett’s performance over the years, it is obvious he means more to the Celtics’ organization than just your typical all-star forward. Garnett is the leader of this team and he inspires his teammates to give everything they can every single time they set foot on a court.
Garnett is going to be an instrumental part in teaching Celtics’ rookies Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger how to play Celtic basketball. His will to win and determination should inspire Melo and Sullinger to give it their all in their first year in the league.
It is hard to expect Garnett to maintain the level of performance we all saw this past postseason through the duration of this new contract, but in addition to the skills he brings on the court, his off the court value and lockerroom presence are well worth $34 million over three years. The signing of Garnet allows the Celtics to move forward in the offseason to fill out their roster with quality role players. With the prospect of the team being healthy and reloaded in 2012-13, there is no reason to believe the Celtics can’t be right back in the Eastern Conference Finals next spring.