GMs: ‘No Chance’ Garnett Plays Out Contract

January 30 2013 at 10:28pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Two GMs who spoke to Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game believe there's "no chance" that Kevin Garnett plays the final two seasons of the three-year, $36MM contract he signed this past offseason (Sulia link). The executives believe the 36-year-old won't be able to coax any more out of his aging legs, and wouldn't want to hang around as an albatross to the Celtics. The GMs also aren't expecting any team to take him on in a trade, given his outsized salary, though only $6MM of his $12MM for 2014/15 is guaranteed.

If Garnett were to walk away, the Celtics would still be on the hook for the guaranteed portion of his deal, unless the two sides arrange a buyout. Clearly the dynamics in Boston have changed after Rajon Rondo's ACL injury, though Celtics basketball president Danny Ainge is reportedly waiting to evaluate this year's post-Rondo team before making a move. The specter of Garnett's looming retirement may prompt Ainge to decide the championship window for this iteration of the Celtics has finally closed.

Garnett, in his 18th season, is averaging 15.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in 30.4 minutes a game. He also chips in 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks every night and remains the linchpin of the Celtics defense, which allows the 10th-fewest points per game in the league. Still, his 18.7 PER, his lowest since his second season in the league, indicates that he isn't as efficient as he once was, and he's been unable to lift Boston to better than a 22-23 record this year.

Not counting this year's salary, Garnett has earned in excess of $291MM over his career, according to Basketball-Reference.com. That's a figure Bucher believes is the most any NBA player has ever made. Others will soon pass him for that distinction, to be sure, but it's enough of a sum to suggest that Garnett may be willing to leave a significant portion of his current contract on the table if he's ready to hang it up.

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