Before Kevin Garnett made his retirement official on Friday, the original report was that he and the Timberwolves were in talks to negotiate a buyout of his contract.
It was (briefly) unclear whether Garnett would indeed hang ’em up after 21 NBA seasons, or if he simply wanted one more shot at a playoff run with one of the league’s contenders.
As it turned out, Garnett decided he was done. But had he wanted to continue playing, he would have had a home with the Clippers, according to coach Doc Rivers.
“He doesn’t want to play,” Rivers told ESPN. “I’m sure he won’t play again. I think he realized, ‘Why am I doing this?’
“I would have absolutely been interested in bringing him here. You always find a place for a guy like that, whose voice in the locker room is so strong, so clear, so impactful.”
Rivers coached Garnett for six seasons in Boston, and the two won a title together in 2008.
Garnett’s body will no longer let him play anywhere near the level he’s used to; he appeared in just 38 games for the Timberwolves last season and averaged 3.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per contest.
But as a locker room leader, he would have still had plenty of value. And the Clippers probably wouldn’t be the only team to come calling if Garnett had decided to hang around for a 22nd season.