Draft Year: 1995. Selected No. 5 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
You probably wouldn't have said this two seasons ago, when Kevin Garnett's storied basketball career appeared to be coming to an end, but Garnett is the best player in the NBA over the age of 35. He reinvented himself in the 2011-12 season in a big way.
The 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons showed serious signs of a Garnett decline. His points per game average dipped below 15 in both seasons. Before 2009-10, the last time Garnett failed to average more than 15 points per game was his rookie season.
Last season, Garnett was famously moved to center, where he used his athleticism and mid-range game to expose defenders. Similar to Chris Bosh, Garnett's jump shot is money anywhere from 16 to 19 feet. With centers struggling to get out on him from that distance, 81 percent of Garnett's field goals were jump shots. Garnett averaged 9.7 points per game alone on jump shots.
Defensively, Garnett was a beast in 2011-12. He was selected to the 2011-12 NBA All-Defensive Second Team as a forward, even though he guarded centers for most the season.
Although he contemplated retirement, Garnett decided to re-sign with the Boston Celtics for three years, $34 million. It's an expensive price tag, but if you look around the NBA, there aren't many centers or forwards currently playing at a higher level than Garnett. You also can't discount the intangibles Garnett brings to the locker room. With Allen gone, Garnett's locker room voice will become even more valuable.
The 2012-13 season is shaping up to be a promising one for the Celtics. Despite losing Allen, the team added Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger, while also re-signing Brandon Bass, Jeff Green and Keyon Dooling. The Celtics remain as the Heat's No. 1 competitor for the Eastern Conference crown. With Garnett returning to the fold, the Celtics will have something to say about which team is the best in the East.