Kevin Garnett has made it no secret that he was less than excited to hear that the Boston Celtics were going to trade him this offseason. He said he even considered vetoing the trade, but didn’t for a couple of reasons including the fact that teammates Paul Pierce and Jason Terry were coming with him and because he felt like coming to the Nets gave him another shot at a championship.
Apparently Garnett felt like the best way for the Nets to do that included Reggie Evans.
“I won’t go into specific details of what I was wanting and dislikes and everything else when it came to building the business of basketball,” Garnett told Roderick Boone of Newsday. “But I will say this: One of the key things for me was not only Paul and ‘Jet’ coming here with me to make it comfortable, but Reggie Evans had to be on the roster. That was a huge key for me coming here.”
Evans was initially reported to be included in the deal along with teammates Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and Gerald Wallace. After Garnett raised concerns Evans was removed from the deal and Keith Bogans took his place. That certainly could have killed the deal as Evans is a better player than Bogans and the Celtics eventually had to spend a bunch of extra money on Bogans to make the trade work. Obviously it still managed to come together though and Garnett and Evans are in Brooklyn together.
The reason KG wanted Evans is because KG has been impressed by Evans’ hustle over the years to the point where he’s shown a lot of respect for Evans.
“I wanted to play with another workhorse,” Garnett said, “a person I admired, thought gave a lot to the game when it came to just being a dog and worked hard. I’ve been a superfan of his for a long time and I will concur and actually say that he’s a big part of why I came here.”
It’s not hard to see why either as Evans doesn’t have a ton of tools that make good players great. He merely has an extreme hustle tool where he simply out works other, often more athletic, players on the floor. So while he may never be a great shooter, he can certainly still hustle, grab rebounds, and play strong defense.