EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - On Friday, the Nets battled the Toronto Raptors for 53 minutes before finally picking up their 12th defeat in the last 14 games. Kevin Garnett played only 9:27 in that game, scoring a single point and grabbing two rebounds.
On television that night, ESPN commentator Jalen Rose predicted that Garnett, stuck on a Nets team that is 18-28 and 11/2 games behind the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, at some point will be bought out of his contract and eventually will sign with the L.A. Clippers. But Sunday, as the Nets practiced before facing the Clippers Monday night at Barclays Center, Garnett insisted he is focused on helping his present team and is not thinking about how nice it would be to join a playoff contender.
"I don't know what management is going to do," said Garnett, who is averaging 6.8 points and 6.9 rebounds in 21 minutes per game. "When my situation comes up, I'll obviously give it some attention. Other than that, my attention is trying to get us on a winning streak, get us on a road where everybody's playing together.
"I'm all in here," he said. "You understand what that means? Mase [Mason Plumlee], the young guys, Cory [Jefferson], I've been trying to help them develop."
Garnett said that after Paul Pierce left as a free agent last summer and coach Jason Kidd bolted to take the Milwaukee job, he knew the Nets would have issues developing chemistry and living up to expectations. He said he understands the goal is to win and help younger players develop.
Though he has a no-trade clause in his contract, he said he will deal with whatever comes up -- a buyout or a request by the team to waive his no-trade clause -- if and when that occurs. But when asked if he will request a trade or a buyout, he abruptly ended the interview.
Meanwhile, Deron Williams practiced fully for the first time since he left the Jan. 7 loss to Boston with fractured rib cartilage. He wouldn't say if he will play Monday night, adding that he is taking things "one day at a time" and will see how he feels when he wakes up before deciding whether he will be able to play.
Williams acknowledged that playing 52 minutes in Friday's game was a lot for point guard Jarrett Jack, but he said that won't make him any more anxious to return.
"I've been wanting to play no matter what," he said. "We've lost, what, 12 out of 14 or something like that? We've slipped into the ninth spot, people are on our heels, so I've been wanting to play."