Kevin Garnett has been a vital piece of the Boston Celtics organization since joining from the Minnesota Timberwolves all those years ago. His passion and competitive spirit was crucial as the team reached multiple NBA finals over the past few years.
However Garnett's passion and competitive spirit no longer eclipses his cumbersome and frail performances.
Garnett really struggled with the pace of the professional game last year, this isn't a surprise considering his recent injury problems.
Keeping an experienced player on the roster for his off-the-field influence is fine if that player is not considered a key part of the team, and more importantly not being paid like one.
Garnett is 35 years of age and has one year left on his deal. The problem lies in his salary however. Garnett is due $21 million this season, which is simply too much.
While his age and the sheer size of his contract will shrink his trade value, allowing Garnett to leave while potentially bringing in one or two reliable role players could also shrink the team's salary which would be vital as they attempt to re-sign and sign free agents.
Whether the team attempts to re-sign Glen Davis or not will be telling regarding their plans for Garnett. Should Garnett be let go, expect the Celtics to re-sign Davis and install him as the starting power forward.
Davis has always been better off the bench but is at the point in his career when he should be making the transition into a starting caliber player.
Without Garnett's $21 million hit against the cap, the Celtics would have around $45 million commited to players in 2011. This should provide them with enough leverage to re-sign their own pivotal free agents, such as Davis and Delonte West while also potentially bringing in a starting center to improve the starting five.
The Celtics have been an old team for quite some time now. However this season is the first season during that time that they likely won't be embracing that rather attempting to transition to players like Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Davis, Avery Bradley and Von Wafer.
Pivotally only one of those players plays in the front court, and Davis isn't even guaranteed to return to the TD Garden. The Celtics can't expect to compete next season if they are starting Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O'Neal in their front court.
Rajon Rondo, if he is not already, will be the focal point of this team this year and for the foreseeable future. Kevin Garnett's spot up shooting doesn't best complement Rondo's abilities to attack the basket.
The Celtics need to become a more athletic all around team. Ray Allen is still one of the fittest players in the league, and there is no chance that Paul Pierce is let go even if he has to play from the bench, therefore it makes sense both logistically and in basketball terms that Kevin Garnett is let go.
That is presuming there would be a team willing to take him on.Tweeting @Cianaf