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Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says he tried to talk Kevin Garnett out of retirement this season

LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Sean Wright

Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) complains to official Sean Wright about Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Garnett (2) during an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


Tyronn Lue tried to talk Kevin Garnett into becoming a Cavaliers assistant coach before the season.

Garnett declined.

When Andrew Bogut suffered a season-ending injury in March, Lue again tried to lure Garnett to Cleveland – to play.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Lue revealed that the Cavaliers reached out to Kevin Garnett -- who was working as a consultant with the Clippers and Bucks after retiring last season -- about coming to play backup center after Andrew Bogut suffered a season-ending leg injury.

“I was like, ‘Man, you should come back and play for me.’ He was like, ‘Man, you all have a lot going on over there,’” Lue said. “That was before we hit our stride like we’re playing well now. He was like, ‘If you and [James] Posey were still playing, I would come.’ But he said, ‘But y’all are coaching and y’all are going through what you’re going through.’ He said, ‘Ah, I’m going to sit this one out.’ I said, ‘OK. We’ll call you next year.’”

I don’t know the seriousness of Lue, who was a Celtics assistant coach when Garnett and Posey (now a Cavs assistant) played in Boston.

Garnett, now 40, looked pretty limited with the Timberwolves last season. But teams, especially contenders, sometimes overvalue over-the-hill veterans.

And it’s possible Garnett could’ve helped the Cavaliers. He probably wouldn’t have contributed less than Larry Sanders. Would Garnett have provided more value than Walter Tavares? Maybe. In a tiny role behind Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye, Garnett might have produced in spot minutes.

The risk is Lue would have been too partial to Garnett to play him sparingly enough. Or Garnett might be completely washed up, incapable of playing effectively at all.

Garnett is a big name, and him joining Cleveland would have been exciting. But it’s hard to believe the Cavs missed out by not signing a retired 40-year-old.