What does Kevin Garnett want to see if he returns to Celtics?

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A lot of teams are going to reach out to free agent Kevin Garnett, to see if he wants to wear a third uniform in his career. I don’t see that happening. As Romeo Void taught us long ago “never say never,” but it’s hard to picture KG doing anything but returning to the Celtics or hanging up his shoes and calling it a career.

So if he’s going to be convinced to come back to Boston, what is it going to take? I don’t mean money, that can be figured out. But KG isn’t coming back unless this team is a contender. Does that mean he wants to see it shaken up, or kept intact?

Apparently, he wants the guys he has gone to battle with before. From the Boston Herald.

“Kevin’s very loyal, and he hates change,” one source said. “But I think it’d be hard for him to come back if it’s a total rebuild. If he’s going to play, he has to be playing for something. I think he’ll wait to see what’s going to happen. If Danny (Ainge, Celtics GM) can give him a solid answer right away, then maybe he gives them an answer, too. But KG’s going to want to know who he’ll be playing with.”

The conundrum for Ainge and the Celtics is this — there is a big rebuild around Rondo coming in their near future. They can bring back KG with Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo and some nice role players for another year or two, but is that enough? They couldn’t get by the banged-up Heat this year and Miami will be back. Chicago will get Derrick Rose back and be a force. Indiana is getting better. You get the idea.

I get the feeling there will be no quick resolution here. Garnett needs a couple weeks to get out of the season mode and think this through. Boston needs to see what kind of team they are putting together. Then the two sides can see if there is a fit.

Are Bulls and Dwyane Wade moving toward a buyout?

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About a month ago, the Bulls said they hadn’t discussed a buyout with Dwyane Wade.

Have the two sides progressed since?

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.

Expected by whom?

People with direct knowledge of momentum toward a buyout?

Or everyone who can see that a 35-year-old earning $23.8 million fits poorly on a rebuilding team?

For the Bulls to now drop their biggest name and a large expiring contract that could prove useful in trades should require Wade surrendering a large portion of his salary. He doesn’t sound like someone inclined to do that yet.

A few months is a long time. As long as Wade gets bought out by March 1, he could join another team’s playoff roster. It’d surprise nobody if he gets bought out after the February trade deadline, which we already knew. I don’t see strong indication of something more imminent.

LeBron James’ camp already shooting down leaving-Cavaliers rumor

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LeBron James has done a terrible job shooting down rumors about him leaving the Cavaliers

Except this one from Chris Sheridan, who cited a source saying LeBron would “100 percent” leave Cleveland next summer due to a rift with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Sheridan’s source saying LeBron is leaving doesn’t make that true. But other anonymous sources denying it doesn’t make the denials true, either.

New Orleans Saints fire Pelicans’ team physician

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The Pelicans have been crushed by injuries the last few years.

Why? That’s an incredibly complex question.

But the New Orleans Saints – who share an owner (Tom Benson), a front-office leader (Mickey Loomis) and other staff with the Pelicans – have found culprits for their own injury woes.

Mike Triplett of ESPN:

The Saints have fired team orthopedists Deryk Jones and Misty Suri, per source, after it was discovered that CB Delvin Breaux has a fractured fibula and will require surgery expected to sidelined him for 4-6 weeks. Breaux was originally diagnosed with a contusion

Suri is a Pelicans team physician.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Fairly or not, Suri – after the Saints deemed him unacceptable – will be in the crosshairs if he keeps his job with the the Pelicans and their injury woes continue.

Rumor: LeBron James ‘100 percent’ leaving Cavaliers next summer

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Chris Sheridan was ahead of the crowd in 2014, reporting LeBron James would likely leave the Heat for the Cavaliers – which obviously happened.

But Sheridan called it a “90 percent chance,” a small – but large enough – hedge. He also said LeBron would announce the decision on LeBron’s personal website. Of course, LeBron revealed his choice in a Sports Illustrated essay.

So, maybe Sheridan knows what he’s talking about. Maybe he doesn’t.

But the longtime NBA writer just fanned the flames of the already hot LeBron-leaving-Cleveland rumors.

Sheridan:

Of course, the denials came quickly.

There have already been plenty of warning signs about LeBron’s relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, which didn’t restart in a great place.

It’s entirely believable LeBron would leave Cleveland, in large part due to Gilbert.

But it’s also fun to speculate about that salacious storyline.

Maybe Sheridan or his source got carried away for that very reason. Or maybe they know something.

Neither possibility should be discounted.