NBA: Garnett reportedly gets three-year deal
Kevin Garnett will return to the Boston Celtics after agreeing to a three-year contract Saturday, according to multiple reports.
The Celtics star will earn $34 million with the new deal, Yahoo!Sports and the Boston Herald reported.
“The decision came down to whether KG wanted to keep playing,” a source closed to the negotiations told the Herald. “And once he decided that he did, it was going to be Boston. He wasn’t going to leave Doc (Rivers) and those guys and play anywhere else.”
Garnett, 36, earned $21 million last season with the Celtics as he averaged 15.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in helping them reach the Eastern Conference finals. He averaged 19.2 points and 10.3 rebounds in the playoffs.
The 17-year veteran was considering retirement after this season. However, he seemed rejuvenated this season when coach Doc Rivers moved him from power forward to center.
With the free-agent negotiating period beginning Sunday, the Celtics’ next pressing need is deciding whether to bring back guard Ray Allan and forward Brandon Bass.
–The Oklahoma City Thunder and coach Scott Brooks are close to agreeing on a new deal, according to multiple reports.
Brooks, whose contract expires Saturday, received an offer of four years for $16 million, The Daily Oklahoman and ESPN.com reported.
Contract talks had moved slowly this month after Brooks, who was paid about $4 million combined the past two seasons, had guided the Thunder to the NBA Finals, which it lost in five games to the Miami Heat.
“They are getting close,” one source briefed on the negotiations told ESPN.com.
Brooks took over as coach of the Thunder 2008-09 — its first season since moving from Seattle — after the team started with a 1-12 record under coach PJ Carlesimo. One season later, the Thunder made its first playoff appearance in Oklahoma City, followed by trips to the Western Conference finals and the NBA Finals.
He has a 174-125 coaching record and was the Western Conference coach for the 2012 All-Star Game.
–The Miami Heat reportedly has made shooting guard Ray Allen their top priority in free agency.
The club will offer the free agent, who has played the last four seasons with the Boston Celtics, its $3 million mid-level exception, according to ESPN.com.
The NBA free-agent negotiating period begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. Players cannot sign contracts until July 11.
“We’ve got five or six guys earmarked (in free agency) so we’ll see how it goes,” Heat president Pat Riley said. “We want to find as much space as we can on the floor for Dwyane, LeBron and for Chris (Bosh) to be able to operate.”
Allen, 36, averaged 10.7 points and 4.1 rebounds last season, when he missed 16 games because of injuries. He has averaged 20 points a game in 18 seasons and is one of the game’s premier three-point shooters.
The Heat is hoping that the lure of helping the team win a second consecutive NBA championship with convince him to play for a contract that is below market value. Allen made $10 million last season with the Boston Celtics, who could use Larry Bird rights to re-sign him at a larger contract. And Yahoo! Sports reported the Phoenix Suns are also interested in signing Allen.
The Celtics already have agreed to a new contract with center Kevin Garnett to a three-year $34 million contract.
The Heat may already have lost center Ronny Turiaf, decided not to pick up his $1.1 million player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent. His agent said he was interested in returning to Miami, but not at that salary.
–All-Star point guard Steve Nash said it is very likely he will play with a different team than the Phoenix Suns next season.
“I couldn’t list a favorite,” Nash said in a story published Saturday by ESPN.com. “But I do know that for the first time I realize that it might not be Phoenix. I would have said even in the middle of (last) season or last year that I would have thought I probably would have stayed in Phoenix forever. But it’s come to a point now where I’m facing the reality that’s not (the case).”
Nash’s contract with the Suns has expired and the NBA free agency period begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
The 16-year veteran said believes the Suns are ready to move in a different direction after missing the playoffs the past two seasons.
“I don’t necessarily feel like they’re determined to keep me,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of factors. So, one, I’m not sure they’re determined to keep me. Two, there’s other opportunities that are exciting. So I think I have to be open-minded … but at the same time be able to forecast where I’ll be most successful and happiest.”
Even at 36, Nash reportedly has interest from at least four teams. ESPN reported Toronto, Dallas, New York and Brooklyn are interested as Nash will receive offers Sunday in New York.
Toronto is expected to make the richest offer to the Canadian with about $12 million a year, according to ESPN. He made $11.689 million last season with the Suns. The Knicks are expected to make a healthy pitch as well.
Nash, who will receive offers beginning Sunday in New York, said he is expected to make a decision on his next contract quickly — and he hasn’t ruled out returning to the Suns.
“It’s just a different free agency for me and I have to be open-minded to everything,” he said. “I definitely could go back to Phoenix, but just that opportunity that I may be moving has definitely got me feeling the nerves, anxiety and excitement to see what happens.”
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