Kevin Garnett would like to play one more season, but he is unsure whether his body can endure the grind of the 82-game schedule, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com writes. “Yes, theoretically, he’d like to play. But he has some doubts of his knees holding up,” owner Glen Taylor said. “I think he’s worried if he can play. I worry about that too. When I talked to him last year, I said, ‘Is it your knees or what?’ He said, ‘It’s my whole leg.’ ” Garnett also told Taylor that he’d really like to play next year because he expects Minnesota to make the playoffs.
New president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau said earlier in the week that he is giving Garnett as much time as he needs to make a decision because “the great ones deserve time.” Garnett has $8MM and one season remaining on his current deal and Aschburner notes that the team likely won’t use that cap space if he does retire, so it can wait on the big man’s decision.
Garnett’s agent, Andy Miller, told Aschburner that he hasn’t heard anything that would make him believe Garnett would not return. Aschburner notes that one of the reasons Garnett was willing to waive his no trade clause back in 2015 to come back to the Wolves was because the late Flip Saunders pitched Garnett with the idea of buying an ownership share of the franchise.
Taylor recently sold 15% of the franchise and he said he never had conversations with Garnett about a potential ownership stake. “I never participated in that. Kevin said it to some reporter and it got into the paper. I thought it was inappropriate for me to talk to him about it because he was a player. I never had that discussion with Kevin at all. But I sort of believed it because I assumed he was saying, that was his goal,” Taylor said. However, Taylor did not rule out the possibility. “I’m always open to something like that,” Taylor said, “because he would kind of represent a Minnesota owner.”
Taylor also insinuated that if Garnett decided to retire, a good portion of his $8MM salary would be made available to him via a buyout, so that the future Hall of Famer wouldn’t have to return for the money, Aschburner adds. Taylor knows retirement will be difficult for the power forward. “When he retires, he’s got to figure out a nice way to do it. I don’t know what it is, but I want to help him,” Taylor added. “The transition won’t be easy.”
Garnett saw only 14.6 minutes per contest over 38 games last season. The team went 14-24 in games he played and 15-29 in games he did not.