Report: "Growing belief" that Kevin Garnett will play one more year, retire, and join T-wolves management
In the NBA vernacular, this is known as a "Woj bomb". Or a nugget of information that for many writers would be a major scoop, but for Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, who breaks nearly every major NBA story, is just worthy of a sentence or two in paragraph six.
Tonight, while discussing Doc Rivers joining the Clippers, Woj discussed how the deal impacted both Chris Paul and Kevin Garnett. Here's what he had to say about KG, and his future.
Garnett has two years, $24.4 million left on his Celtics deal, but there's a growing belief that he'll play one more season before retiring and joining his old coach, Flip Saunders, with a ceremonial role in Minnesota Timberwolves ownership, league sources told Y! Sports.
"The opportunity will be there for him," one source said, "but there's nothing decided yet."
I know that KG is (by FAR) the greatest player in Timberwolves history, and I know that his loyalty is so vast that it cannot be measured by simple human measuring devices, but still, this surprises me.
Sure Garnett spent the first 12 years of his career in Minnesota, but he also spends his off-seasons in Malibu, running on the beaches, and enjoying Southern California. Is the Big Ticket really going to move back to Minnesota for 6-8 months out of the year for a ceremonial role with the Wolves?
And just how big a role are we talking here? Like show up at a game or two a year, shake some season ticket holders hands, and then head back Cali? That doesn't sound like KG AT ALL. Maybe it's just me, but I picture Garnett going all or nothing with his NBA future. If he's taking his talents to the front office, I just can't see him quarter or half-assing it. Maybe I'm wrong of course, but I picture KG in a suit, pacing back and forth from the owners box and swearing at the other teams general manager.
Not in a ceremonial role. But again, this is Woj talking, and the man has more NBA inside scoops than I have hairs on my head (I have a decently thick head of hair FYI).
The other piece of information in this, that KG will most likely only honor one of the remaining two years on his deal, isn't very surprising at all. Garnett will play most of next season at age 37, turning 38 during the 2nd round of the playoffs. Considering he entered the league at age 19, retiring after 19 seasons seems rather symbolic. When you throw in the fact that he is already battling bone spurs in his ankle, not to mention creaky knees, it makes a ton of sense that we're staring KG's swan song directly in the face.
While that is sad, it's also necessary. If you haven't noticed, an era is ending. Doc is gone. Ray is too. Pierce may be gone within a week, although it seems likely the Celtics will pick up his option and test the trade market for him instead of eating $5 million and having him walk. While it's possible that Ticket and Truth play one final season together, expecting Garnett back for 2014-15 (when Pierce will almost assuredly be either retired or elsewhere), is not realistic.
It is also practical from a team building aspect. As of now, the C's have $52 million on the books for 2014-15, but if KG leaves..that number drops to $40 million. Throw in a qualifying offer for Avery Bradley and an option on Jared Sullinger, and the number rises closer to $45 million. The NBA cap will likely be around $60 million in two seasons, meaning that KG's retirement could directly lead to the Celtics bringing in a big name free agent to join Rajon Rondo, Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, the 16th pick this season, next years 1st rounder and whatever they assets they get in a deal with Pierce. All of a sudden the aging Celtics will have become one of the youngest teams in basketball.
Over the next year, it will become interesting to see what the C's do with Garnett. Obviously he has a no trade clause, but you would have to think that if a true championship contender comes calling, trying to win a second ring in his final season may be too tempting to say no to.
Then again, that trademark loyalty may win out one final time.
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