Despite barely being healthy enough to play anymore, Kevin Garnett seems to be planning on staying at least one more season in the NBA and with the Minnesota Timberwolves, although nothing is set in stone.
Flip Saunders said that if Garnett plays in the season finale on Wednesday it’ll probably be because he’s retiring, but he doesn’t’ expect Garnett to play. Marc Stein of ESPN suggests the same thing, tweeting that Kevin Garnett is leaning towards coming back next season, which will be his 21st in the league.
Garnett hasn’t done much since getting traded by the Brooklyn Nets to the Timberwolves, playing just five times, his last appearance coming on March 7. Since then knee problems and overall old age (for a basketball player) have kept him off the court.
It’s not that Garnett has a lot more to give on the court. There are plenty of players who can score 7 points and grab 5 rebounds per game given the time, and most of them have the potential to improve. But Garnett does have a special connection to the franchise, and the Timberwolves are banking on his locker room influence and his leadership to be an important factor for the young team next season.
Garnett, turning 39 in May, played 12 seasons prior to this one with the Timberwolves, averaging 20.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. He led them to the postseason eight consecutive times, once making it to the conference finals (2004). He was also the MVP of the NBA that season. He’s the franchise leader in games, minutes, points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.