Be Warned, NBA: Garnett Getting Closer to Full Strength

With Kevin Garnett on the comeback trail, Boston's prospects for the upcoming season are considerably improved. After that, though, the Celtics has plenty of decisions to make.

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Rondo's Future Still Up in the Air

Elsewhere in the same article, the Globe focuses on Rajon Rondo, who had a breakout season last year (did you watch the playoffs?) and will be up for a new contract after this season. Asked whether he was optimistic about the upcoming contract negotiations, Rondo replied, "Not really. I’m just playing it out, trying to get better every day.’’ Well, then.

So much for optimism. To be fair, the Celtics did try to trade Rondo earlier this offseason, and just months after he’d performed heroically for them in the playoffs. There’s been speculation that despite Rondo’s blossoming play on the court, his locker room presence is what prompted GM Danny Ainge and the rest of the Celtics brass to explore trade scenarios rather than reward him with a sizable extension.

Still, this is a crossroads for the Celtics; it’s fitting that in a article dedicated to the progress of their worn-down superstar, who basically was injured with “residual effects of 1,000 games” last season, Rondo’s contract comes up. He is, after all, the team’s only young star, and would have to be considered the most intriguing piece of any future Celtics championship. In a league where the rules favor point guards, Rondo and his unorthodox skill set will certainly be an asset for years to come.

But how valuable an asset? And if he’s a problem in the locker room, maybe the Celtics are willing to let another team ponder the cost. In any case, for the present, Garnett’s on track to return, and the Celtics seemed primed for a run at the 2010 Championship. After that, though, the future is considerably less certain, and Rondo is at the center of it all.

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Be Warned, NBA: Garnett Getting Closer to Full Strength

The Boston Globe reports today that Boston Celtics superstar--who was recently named one of Esquire's 75 Best People in the World--is well on his way to returning from last year's knee injuries to help the Boston Celtics contend for a championship this season. For now, though, the Celtics staff is taking a cautious approach to his immersion into the game.

From the Globe:

“Kevin looks good, he’s in here working out every day,’’ Ainge said yesterday from the team’s practice facility in Waltham. “He’s doing his training, but he’s not playing full-court basketball yet.

“We’re taking it as slow and as cautious as we can with him. He’s anxious and he has a ton of energy, but I think he gets it. We don’t have bodyguards on him to keep him from working too hard. He’s on the program with the staff."

The Celtics were a favorite to win last year's title when Garnett was healthy, but when he went down with a knee injury, the title aspirations became a pipe dream for Celtics fans. Still, in Garnett's absence, players like Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins, and Rajon Rondo were able to blossom into servicable--in Rondo's case, occasionally outstanding--NBA starters. With Garnett seemingly on the road to recovery, having a future hall-of-famer there to anchor things--and augment the burgeoning Celtics talent--makes the Celtics one of only a handful of teams in the league that can talk seriously about winning a championship next June.

 

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