The Cavaliers have had 22 different players on their roster this season, but Tyronn Lue shared on the ESPN Lockdown Podcast with Dave McMenamin that the team made an attempt to add Kevin Garnett to the fold after the team lost Andrew Bogut and cut ties with Larry Sanders.
“It was crazy - I talked to him right before we signed Edy, and I was like, ‘man you should come back and play for me.’
He’s like, ‘Man, you got a lot going on over there.’ It was before we hit our stride, [we’re] playing well now.
‘If you and Posey were still playing, I would come,’ he said, ‘but you’re coaching, and y’all are going through what you’re going through, I’ma sit this one out.’”
This obviously would have been fascinating to see what kind of role Garnett could still play on a title team. The roster spot eventually went to Edy Tavares, but Lue, potentially with his tongue in cheek, didn’t rule out hitting up his former player this summer either.
“I said, okay, we’ll call you next year. His wife Brandy said, ‘I heard you’re trying to get Kevin to come back and play.’
I said, I think next year we might be able to talk him into coming and playing about eight minutes a game, so yeah.”
You’ll have to listen to the pod to pick up Lue’s tone, but it certainly was at least partially in jest, though, it appears talks were legitimate enough for McMenamin to have known about them. Garnett retired after last season and is assuredly headed to the Hall of Fame one day, and Lue made sure to extol the virtues of having a player like that in your locker room.
“He’s great for your culture, you know, and he does everything the right way. It’s all about winning, it’s not about him. And to have a Hall-of-Famer like that, such a great player to make it all about team, you know, it’s unbelievable.”
It’s obviously very unlikely Kevin Garnett ever suits up in the Wine and Gold and Lue even extended a standing offer for the Wolves and Celtics legend to join his coaching staff at the beginning of the year.
If anything, especially given the tone, this was likely an exploratory but mostly light-hearted phone call between friends. Garnett would probably have a heart attack watching the Cavaliers punt the regular season anyway, so this is probably for the best.