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Celtics' plans hinge on Garnett's future

The SportsXchange

The Boston Celtics' early offseason planning is in a holding pattern while the team waits to hear forward Kevin Garnett's plans for 2013.

Garnett signed a three-year, $34 million contract last year, and is deciding whether to undergo ankle surgery.

"Who holds all the cards? Kevin Garnett," ESPNBoston.com's Jackie MacMullan told CSNNE's UNO Sports Tonight show. "Kevin Garnett may or may not need surgery, we haven't heard either way. That might determine whether he wants to come back for another year.

"I'm hearing that he wants to come back for one year. That's what I'm hearing right now. So if he comes back for one more year - he holds all the cards, he has a no-trade clause, he can kind of call the shots here. If he comes back, maybe he says 'Well, I'm not coming back unless (Paul) Pierce comes back."

There has been speculation that general manager Danny Ainge is considering trading Pierce or buying out his $15 million contract for next season. If so, it would signal a rebuilding era for the Celtics - a situation Garnett may not want to be involved in. But Boston first needs to know Garnett's plans before deciding what to do with Piece.

"Then you can definitely wave goodbye to Paul Pierce," MacMullan said of what happens should Garnett decide to retire. "And listen, we all know they love Paul Millsap. We all know that. Can they put together a sign-and-trade package? Can they sign him outright, can they clear enough money? I don't think so. But we also know that Al Jefferson is out there. Do they take Al Jefferson back, who's not going to be as coveted as Paul Millsap for obvious reasons, injury history, and so on. Is that plausible?"
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