Celtics decision to rebuild or reload hinges on Kevin Garnett

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The good news for Celtics fans is that all the talk of this season’s playoff run being the last for the Big Three of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett may have been a bit premature.

The bad news might be that the club’s decision to go into a complete rebuild or to try to reload for one more shot at the title with its veteran core may hinge solely on the free agent decision that Garnett will have to make. From the Boston Globe:

The Celtics have four unrestricted free agents – Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Brandon Bass, and Mickael Pietrus – that Ainge said he would like to re-sign for next season. The key piece, of course, is Garnett, who has yet to decide if he even wants to play next season.

Ainge said he and Garnett have kept in touch, and he expects to hear from the 17-year veteran again in the coming days. …

If Garnett decides to return, Ainge said he plans on using the Celtics’ available salary cap space to also bring back Allen, Bass, and Pietrus, and perhaps another piece. With Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo under contract, the team could make one more charge.

You can’t blame Boston for giving it one more try with this group, considering that the team was one win away from knocking out the champion Heat, and heading to the NBA Finals themselves. But a longer look at the realities of that postseason run — Derrick Rose’s injury that caused the Bulls to exit in the first round, Boston needing seven games to take down a not-very-good Sixers squad, and Chris Bosh’s unavailability for the first four games of the Conference finals — may show that a lot of things had to go just right for this Celtics team to get as far as they did.

Still, Boston competed as hard as anyone in these playoffs, so you can’t fault Ainge for giving it one more shot. That is, if Garnett decides it’s in his best interest to return for that final run.