Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor doesn’t anticipate Kevin Garnett retiring in the offseason, as Taylor relayed Wednesday night to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). The 39-year-old who turns 40 next month is under contract at $8MM for the 2016/17 season, which would be his record 22nd year in the NBA.
“You’d have to ask him, but from everything he’s told me, he wants to be [back],” Taylor said.
Many people close to Garnett weren’t sure whether or not he’d return to play next season, Wolfson said in a February podcast. Garnett hasn’t appeared in a game since January 23rd as he’s dealt with soreness in his right knee.
His decision is liable to affect what former teammate Paul Pierce does, as they’ve frequently considered the idea of retiring at the same time, according to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. Pierce, 38, is in the first season of a three-year contract with the Clippers. His salary of nearly $3.528MM for next season is fully guaranteed, while only about $1.096MM is guaranteed for 2017/18.
Garnett started in all 38 games he played this season, though he only averaged a career-low 14.6 minutes per contest. His primary role has been as a locker room leader for the team’s young core. He’s expressed interest in eventually buying the Wolves, though he can’t own even a minority share until after his playing days are done.