Kevin Garnett plans to return for his 20th NBA season next year, a league source tells Ohm Youngmisuk. The Nets have been planning as if the future Hall-of-Famer would not retire, and GM Billy King reiterated as much to reporters including Youngmisuk today. “I think he’s preparing earlier this year than he did last summer,” said King.
Garnett will play out the final year of his contract in Brooklyn, drawing a $12MM salary. Garnett and Paul Pierce were traded to the Nets before the season as the Celtics kickstarted a rebuilding effort, and they helped Brooklyn advance to the second round for the first time since the 2006/07 season. Now the question will become whether this is his final year as a pro, or whether he will consider signing at a significantly lower salary next offseason.
At age 37, Garnett played the fewest games and total minutes of his career under the cautious approach of coach Jason Kidd in the 2013/14 season. While the dip in playing time accounted for decreased production, he was also less effective in the minutes he did play. He turned in a career-low .441 shooting percentage and per-36 scoring average. Still, he remains an elite rebounder and a post defense presence, and is lauded as one of the best teammates and fiercest competitors in the league.