Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders says he thinks Kevin Garnett will return next season
Garnett has not played since March 7, missing the last 20 games because of knee problems.
Saunders says he doesn’t expect for the 15-time NBA All-Star to play in the team’s season finale against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday but that he does expect him to make a decision quickly about possibly playing a 21st NBA season.
“If he plays, to me it would be an indication that he didn't want to play next year,'' Saunders said, according to the Associated Press. “He's looking at this as not being over. He doesn't want to do anything for one or two games to jeopardize or throw him back to not be able to really start and get ready.”
Garnett, 38, spent his first 12 seasons in Minnesota before being traded to the Boston Celtics before the 2007-2008 season. He won an NBA championship in his first season with the team.
He was traded to the Brooklyn Nets during the 2013 off-season and spent the next year and a half there before he was dealt back to Minnesota in February.
"He's looking at this as not being over," Saunders said. "He doesn't want to do anything for one or two games to jeopardize or throw him back to not be able to really start and get ready."
Garnett, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, has played in only five games this season with Minnesota, who have the worst record in the Western Conference.
He is averaging 6.9 points and 6.6 rebounds in 47 games this season.
- Scooby Axson