Feels like the exact same situation as last year. After the Celtics were eliminated by the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals in 2012, there was rampant speculation Kevin Garnett could walk away from the NBA. Instead, on June 30, even before the free agency moratorium, word broke that Garnett had re-signed with the Celtics ona three-year, $34 million deal.

Now the same questions surround the Celtics after a disappointing season ended with a six-game loss to the Knicks in the first round.

But ESPN's Jackie MacMullan, one of the most respected voices in Boston sports journalism, says the indications are that KG comes back for another run. Via CSN New England:

"Who holds all the cards? Kevin Garnett," MacMullan said. "Kevin Garnett may or may not need surgery, we haven't heard either way. That might determine whether he wants to come back for another year. I'm hearing that he wants to come back for one year. That's what I'm hearing right now. So if he comes back for one more year- he holds all the cards, he has a no-trade clause, he can kind of call the shots here. If he comes back, maybe he says 'Well, I'm not coming back unless Pierce comes back.

"Maybe you make a trade for Pierce at the deadline. You have deadlines with Pierce. Pierce holds none of the cards. So it all depends on KG. So that's why nothing's happened yet. Because I don't think KG's fully decided, A) if he needs surgery, B) if he was going to do the surgery, C) if he wants to come back. I think if he wants to come back he'll probably play for Boston. So that's why you haven't heard anything, because we're all waiting for KG."

Garnett coming back means Danny Ainge will be tempted to once again get sucked into giving this core, which has been past its expiration date for some time, another run. Rumors persist that the Celtics plan to trade or buy out Paul Pierce and his $15 million deal for next season.