Paul Pierce on future: 'I still have something in the tank I can give a team'

May 15, 9:26 AM

Paul Pierce's first season with the Brooklyn Nets didn't end the way he hoped, with the team getting ousted from the postseason with a 96-94 Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

Pierce will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, and at 36 years of age, he believes he still has one or two years left to give. Asked whether he'll remain a Net, Pierce had this to say, via ESPN:

"I haven't really put much thought into it. I put my whole focus into this season, it's my last year of the contract. I will sit back and talk to the family and see where my options are from there and go from there."

The Nets own Pierce's Bird Rights, allowing them to offer the veteran more money than any other team.

"I think I still have something in the tank I can give a team," he added. "Maybe one or two (years) at the most."

Pierce averaged career-lows with 13.5 points and 28 minutes per game in hopes of staying fresh for the postseason.

"Unfortunately, we wish we had put together a better record," Pierce said. 

"But it's a brand new team, a lot of new players, got off to a slow start, a lot of injuries but we figured it out. Not where we want it to end today. Obviously the goal is to win a championship. But I am happy to go to war with the guys in here and the resolve they showed all year long."

Pierce changed teams for the first time in his NBA career this past offseason, and the prospective of a second change in as many years is in front of him.

"When I get a chance, sit back and really get my thinking hat on, I will figure out what's next," Pierce said. "We came up short on our goal."

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Kim Klement

Sep 15, 6:39 PM

Nets head coach Lionel Hollins names Kevin Garnett his starting power forward

Sep 15, 6:39 PM

The days of playing out of position at center are over for Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Garnett, according to head coach Lionel Hollins.

As per Basketball Reference's play-by-play estimates, Garnett spent 76 percent of his playing time at center last season, mostly as a result of the Nets' strategy to play small following incumbent center Brook Lopez's foot injury. With Lopez healthy, Garnett figures to return to his natural position.

The declaration from Hollins also hints at Garnett's return next season. While Garnett hasn't yet picked up his player option for 204-15, all signs point to the 19-year veteran returning to Brooklyn.

Garnett averaged just 6.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in a little over 20 minutes per game last season. His performance has slipped with age, but Garnett remains a very effective defender. Playing power forward also reduces the amount of wear and tear endured while guarding the rim. Garnett appeared in only 54 games last season.

The Nets' rotation figures to include Garnett and Lopez in the starting spots, while Mason Plumlee and Mirza Teletovic slot in as backups.

Feature photo courtesy of reuters/David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 14, 12:19 PM

Report: Garnett still hasn't informed Nets of his 2014-15 decision

Sep 14, 12:19 PM

Jason Kidd moved from Brooklyn to Milwaukee, Paul Pierce departed to Washington, and the Nets off-season came and went without any tangible Kevin Garnett news.

The future Hall of Famer is expected to return for a 20th NBA season this year, but has yet to confirm that return, according to the Boston Globe.

Nets coach Lionel Hollins is still waiting to hear from former Celtic Kevin Garnett, who has not given the team an indication he wants to return, though he is expected to play a 20th NBA season.

Garnett, who turned 38 in May, posted career-low averages in minutes, points, assists, blocks, steals and field goal percentage in 2013-14, while posting his lowest rebounding average since his rookie season.

Earlier this summer, new Nets coach Lionel Hollins stated that "all reports I have is that he's coming back."

With 54,000 minutes logged between the regular season and playoffs over the last two decades and last season's decline still fresh in our minds, it doesn't appear Garnett has much left to offer the Nets outside of some defense and leadership. But with $12 million remaining on his contract for just one more year, K.G. sticking around for a swan song of a season still makes the most sense.

Feature photo courtesy of reuters/Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 9, 2:24 PM

Nets' Hollins on KG returning for next season: 'all reports that I have is that he's coming back'

Aug 9, 2:24 PM

Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins isn't worried about the return of center Kevin Garnett for next season. 

Hollins told Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report that he hasn't yet spoken with the 19-year veteran, but opined that "all reports I have is that he's coming back."

The newly hired Hollins also opened up about the coaching style he hopes to impart on the team. He cited that he wants the Nets' identity to be "aggressive," "tough," and "physical," three elements associated with Garnett.

More of note, he talked about how he figures to integrate a fully healthy Deron Williams and Brook Lopez into the fold.

The game of basketball has always had a combination of pick-and-roll and people that can post up. Finding somebody that's big that can post up has been something that's been an issue for most teams in the last few years, with the emphasis being on shooting threes. I think that you can play with a big guy who can post up, and [your team can] still shoot threes

Back to Garnett. The 38-year-old remains an effective paint anchor in abbreviated stretches, and his return would provide a measure of depth for the oft-injured Lopez. 

However, should Garnett choose to eschew his $12 million option for next season and retire, that would save the Nets a princely sum in payroll and luxury tax costs. So it's win-win for the franchise. Garnett has noted that he's interested in a post-playing career with Brooklyn.

[H/T Pro Basketball Talk]

Jul 13, 5:42 PM

Report: Pierce's departure won't impact Garnett's decision

Jul 13, 5:42 PM

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Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have been tied together since uniting in Boston back in 2007-08, but Pierce's departure for Washington apparently won't move the needle for Garnett, who has a $12 million player option for the 2014-15 season.

Some had anticipated that Pierce leaving may mean Garnett retires or opts out to follow him. That is not the case, according to a report from ESPN, as Garnett still intends to return to Brooklyn. It may have never been the case, anyway, according to the Wall Street Journaland seems it could have been an assumption fabricated by narrative to begin with.

Of course, the Nets probably wouldn't object if Garnett walked away, considering the 38-year-old is no longer going to earn that kind of pay check. This past season, Garnett played in just 54 games, averaging 6.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in 20.5 minutes.

Still a capable interior defender, Garnett's offensive game has lost some touch and his body doesn't seem able to handle a heavy workload. There's value in a player like Garnett, especially given his ability to coordinate a defense from on the floor and his immense experience, and it's not as if the Nets would have cap space to make a splash without him, anyway.

It will be strange to see Garnett and Pierce on opposite sides for the first time in years, however.

Feature photo courtesy of USA Today Sports/David Richard

Jun 25, 4:45 PM

Report: Nets' Garnett plans to return for 2014-15 season

Jun 25, 4:45 PM

Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Garnett is planning to return to the NBA for another season, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

All indications are that Kevin Garnett is preparing to return for another season with the Brooklyn Nets, according to a league source.

Barring something unforeseen or a change of heart, Garnett has indicated he will begin preparing shortly for his 20th season.

Nets general manager Billy King is happy to see him coming back, as he believes Garnett will be able to play at a high level next season.

"I think he's preparing earlier this year than he did last summer." King said.

Garnett averaged 6.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in 20.5 minutes this past season. He is slated to make $12 million for the 2014-15 season.

The team's focus will now shift to Paul Pierce, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. King isn't sure how difficult negotiations with Pierce will be.

"I will know come July 1," King said. "That is when everybody can start making offers and you get a feel for where the market is going to be. Right now you can speculate and have ideas of who may pay and what they may do but you don't know what somebody may do in the draft, make a trade."

The Nets have several other players slated to become free agents, notably Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, and Andray Blatche.

"As many guys as we can keep here and keep some continuity, the better," King said. "Getting (Andrei Kirilenko) back helps. Now this will be Deron (Williams) and Joe (Johnson's) third year here together. They become much more familiar with each other.

"Sometimes it's great to go buy the new car, but sometimes the car you had runs better than the new one."

Feature photo courtesy of USA Today Sports/Anthony Gruppuso

May 22, 6:18 PM

Report: Signs continue to point to Kevin Garnett returning for 2014-15

May 22, 6:18 PM

This past season, 37-year-old Kevin Garnett averaged career-lows of 20.5 minutes and 6.5 points and shot a career-worst 44.1 percent.

Now 38 and with a $12 million player option for 2014-15, many have speculated as to whether Garnett will hang 'em up after a disappointing season. That doesn't appear likely, however, according to a report from the New York Post.

The Post had suggested last week that Garnett was likely to return and doubled down on that suggestion on Thursday:

Still, all indications have been — despite the drop in production this season — Garnett will be back in Brooklyn for what would be the 20th season of his stellar NBA career. The fact is $12 million is an awful lot of money – no matter how much you’ve made in the past – and after playing much, much better over the final few months of the season, it would be easy to see Garnett agreeing to rejoin Pierce for one final season in Brooklyn before riding off into the sunset next summer.

In short, despite Garnett having earned an estimated $315.8 million as a professional basketball player and despite having $35 million of that salary still to come, spread out over the five-year period following his retirement, $12 million is big paper to walk away from.

Should Garnett return, he'll join Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee in the frontcourt, perhaps with a returning Andray Blatche and/or Paul Pierce, so he could see his role scaled back even further on what would surely be a final tour of duty.

[Dap EOB]

May 15, 4:47 PM

Jason Kidd: 'Nets definitely want Kevin Garnett back next season'

May 15, 4:47 PM

With one year and $12 million left on his current deal, Kevin Garnett is faced with the decision of finishing out his contract or retiring at the soon-to-be age of 38.

Garnett's production took a serious decline in the 2013-14 season as he looked like a fraction of the player he was during his time with the Boston Celtics. But if the big man from Mauldin, SC is interested in returning for a final season as a veteran on the Brooklyn Nets, it sounds like that's the decision the franchise wants.

Reports have indicated that Garnett along with Paul Pierce, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in July, will both be back next season. If Garnett were to settle on retirement, however, it would open up some cap space for a franchise whose payroll stands at $90,598,105 for the 2014-15 season, $31,919,105 over the salary cap.

Garnett's decision will reportedly also affect how Pierce goes about next season. Should KG stay in Brooklyn, Pierce is likely to stay as well. If KG chooses to retire, Pierce will apparently explore the possibility of reuniting with Doc Rivers and signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Feature photo courtesy of Reuters/Tom Szczerbowski

May 14, 1:42 PM

Report: 'All indications' point to Pierce and Garnett returning to Nets next season

May 14, 1:42 PM

As the Brooklyn Nets prepare for their Game 5 elimination game in Miami Wednesday night, there's a realistic chance that both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce could be playing their last game in black and white. 

The 36-year-old Pierce is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season while the 37-year-old Garnett has one year and $12 million left on his deal, but it's been speculated that he's considering retirement. 

While both players have seen a decrease in production and usage in their first year in Brooklyn, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post is reporting that both players are expected to be back next season. 

All indications are the Nets will have both back next season, despite talk of Garnett potentially retiring with a year left on his contract and Pierce set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. 

Brooklyn's $102 million payroll is the highest in the NBA with Pierce and Garnett contributing to almost $27 million of that.