Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves are in advanced discussions on a buyout that is expected to end Garnett’s second stint with the Wolves, according to league sources. The belief in Minneapolis, sources told ESPN.com, is that Garnett, at age 40, will opt for retirement after 21 seasons in the NBA. But the strongest signals Wednesday night pointed to Garnett and his representatives securing a settlement with the Wolves that leads to his departure from the organization with one season and $8 million left on his current contract.
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Marc Stein: Minnesota and Kevin Garnett are in advanced discussions on a buyout expected to end KG’s second stint with the Wolves, league sources say.
In an interview Wednesday morning, Wolves president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau said a decision will come out of talks between Garnett and Wolves owner Glen Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune. “Glen and Kevin and his representatives are in discussions,” Thibodeau said. “We’ll keep that private for now, and we’ll see how it unfolds. But, obviously, what Kevin has meant to our league, the organization, he’s earned the right to have those discussions with Glen.” Presumably those talks include Garnett’s health and his ability — and desire — top play a 22nd NBA season. Garnett, 40, is under contract, due to be paid $8 million.
On Sirius XM Radio, Sam Mitchell said he thinks it could influence Kevin Garnett’s decision to retire, but as of the last time they spoke, K.G. remained undecided. “Last time I talked to him, he hadn’t made up his mind. I just think the way last year ended with the owner at the very last minute — and people don’t understand, we all felt pretty good about us. Myself, Milt Newton, and the coaching staff, we all felt pretty good about us coming back. We felt like we did a good enough job to at least earn us a couple of years, a year or two, to keep that thing rolling. And I just think KG was just so hurt by the way things happened.”
“For people to send you messages as if you were going to be back and your staff was going to be back and we had everything going in the right direction, and to get a phone call [from owner Glen Taylor] two hours before your last game basically saying, ‘I’ve changed my mind and I’m going in a different direction,’ it just kind of knocked us all for a loop. We’ve all recovered from it and moved on but if you know Kevin, Kevin is very sensitive and he’s very loyal. And there was a lot of people in that organization that was let go, and the way it was done just left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouth.”
“To be honest with you, I don’t know how he’s going to deal with that. Kevin takes that stuff personally and it’s going to be interesting to see ultimately what he decides to do. It’s a shame that if he doesn’t come back and play, that his last year in Minnesota ended the way it did.”
Wolves second-year center Karl-Anthony Towns said he’s stayed in touch with Garnett throughout the offseason and believes that he does want to continue playing but hasn’t weighed everything out yet. “I talk to him a lot,” Towns told ESPN.com. “I don’t know [what he’s going to do]. He’s earned that respect to choose whenever he chooses to place his shoes up. He’s like a brother to me. If he laces them up again, we’ll be great. If he closes them up and doesn’t wear them again, he deserves [to make that choice]. “We’re all waiting anxiously. Only God and KG know what they want to do.”
Darren Wolfson: Told the total guarantee on KG’s contract is $16.5M. Negotiated it himself. Credit to @ Jon Krawczynski on $16M. #twolves
Jon Krawczynski: AP Sources: Kevin Garnett’s 2-year deal with the Timberwolves will be worth $16 million.
The Big Ticket is back. Long expected to re-sign in Minnesota for at least another year at age 39, Garnett’s contract is “done,” according to 1500ESPN contributor Darren Wolfson. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say Kevin Garnett will be signing a two-year deal with Minnesota when leaguewide moratorium is lifted later this week
The Wolves are expected to sign Garnett for a 21st NBA season sometime after July 8 and before training camp begins in October. Garnett made $12 million last season. An educated guess at a new deal: As much as $8 million a year, perhaps on a two-year deal that includes an out-clause after the first season for each side. Saunders would like to bring utilitarian and cost-efficient forward Robbie Hummel back as well. Saunders won’t discuss Garnett specifics because, per league rules, no NBA team can talk contract with Garnett or any free agent until 11 p.m. Tuesday. But he also speaks as if Garnett’s presence in the coming season is a certainty. “Listen, he wanted to come back to Minnesota; I think that’s an indication of where his heart is,” Saunders said. “That’s all I’ll say.”
Although it hasn’t been announced, pending free agent Kevin Garnett definitely will re-sign with the Wolves, and Saunders definitely will return as coach.
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September 20, 2021 | 8:16 am EDT Update
UNICS Kazan announced the signing of former Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo. The 33-year-old veteran will make his european debut in VTB League and the EuroLeague this season, signing a one-year deal with the club. Mayo has 573 NBA games under his belt, with the Memphis Grizzlies, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 13.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.0 steal per contest.
“Shabazz Napier underwent a comprehensive examination. He has a rather serious injury to the ligaments of the right ankle joint. On the positive side, I can say that there is no fracture and, therefore, there is no need for surgery, of the minuses, the recovery time is still unknown. We have all the necessary conditions to get him back on the floor quickly. All is needed is the support of the fans,” general manager Alexander Tserkovny said. Napier moved to Europe after six years in the NBA and showed promise in front of the season. In the first VTB SuperCup game, against UNICS, he banked in 33 points on 8-11 shooting including 6-8 from deep. He also dished out four assists during the 30 minutes on the floor.
Organizers of a planned museum about basketball great Larry Bird in Terre Haute are starting to assemble thousands of items ahead of its expected opening next year. The museum will be part of the new Terre Haute Convention Center, which remains under construction with an anticipated completion date of March 2022. It will include items donated by Bird and others from his career with the Boston Celtics, Indiana State University and the U.S. Olympic team. The site for work on cataloging the memorabilia is being modified for security and should be ready within weeks, the Tribune-Star reported.
September 20, 2021 | 4:09 am EDT Update
According to a league source, projections indicate that a $171 million salary cap is possible, assuming no cap smoothing, by 2025. Should the NBPA instead agree to cap smoothing, it’s likely the league will still see annual increases to the extent of $15 million, according to source.
The NBA also has a $1.5 billion streaming deal with Chinese-based company Tencent Holdings. “I think everyone expects that so long as the public is demonstrating through ratings that they are watching the NBA, you can probably expect increases there as well,” said former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson. “I would think the NBA is going to look for significant increases.”
Brother Pau Gasol recently spoke with Spanish newspaper Marca, and the topic of Marc’s future came up. “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides. I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.“