Predicting 7 NBA Players Who Will Retire After Next Season
There are many players currently in the NBA who are getting to that point in their career where they should start considering retirement.
It’s hard for any player to step away from the game that they’ve been playing their entire life, but age eventually catches up with everyone.
Even if a veteran can still make a squad as the team’s 12th man, there is nothing worse to watch than a player who is way past his prime and has half the skills and speed that he used to.
Here are seven players who will most likely retire after next season is over.
Mike Bibby (Free Agent)
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NBA Experience: 14 Years
Mike Bibby’s career should have ended two seasons ago.
Bibby has always been known for his running style of offense and excellent outside shooting. Now at age 34, Bibby has drastically slowed down and only shot 28.2 percent from the field last season.
Over the past two seasons, Bibby has played on four teams: the Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, Miami Heat and New York Knicks. With each move, Bibby has played in fewer minutes per game than he did with the team prior.
Bibby will probably catch on with another team this season, but it should be his last, as his numbers will certainly decline once again.
Anthony Carter (Free Agent)
NBA Experience: 13 Years
Anthony Carter has never been a player who puts up huge numbers, but he has stuck around so long since he is extremely smart. Carter’s career highs in points per game and assists per game are only 7.8 and 5.5, respectively.
Even though Carter has only played in 57 games combined over the past two seasons, he still believes he can help a team, according to Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports. Carter believes his ideal role would be as a third point guard, as well as an assistant coach.
Even if Carter does catch on with a team for another season like he wants to, he has a standing offer from George Karl to become an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets. Carter should take Karl up on that offer before he takes it off the table.
Ben Wallace (Free Agent)
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NBA Experience: 16 Years
Ben Wallace has had two stints with the Detroit Pistons throughout his career. During his nine seasons in Detroit, Wallace has started in 597 of the 655 games he’s played in.
Heading into this offseason, Wallace told Richmond, Va. TV station WTVR (h/t Detroit Free Press) that he is 50-50 on whether or not he should return for his 17th NBA season.
Now that training camp is set to begin soon, The Detroit News is reporting that Wallace has decided he would like to hold off on retirement for another year. The only problem for him is that the Pistons have a full roster and will need to complete a trade in order to make room for Wallace. We’ll see if he is willing to hold out for them to make a move or if he will settle for signing with another team.
Either way, if he was already 50-50 on retiring before this season even began, he will definitely be much more likely to retire after the season ends.
Jerry Stackhouse (Nets)
NBA Experience: 17 Years
Jerry Stackhouse just refuses to go away.
Even though he is now a fraction of the player he once was, Stackhouse continues to sign one-year, veteran’s minimum contracts. He desperately wants to earn a championship ring, but has been unsuccessful thus far.
Stackhouse has averaged 17.4 points per game for his career but has only scored a total of 520 points in 89 games over the past four seasons combined.
Now with his fifth team in five seasons, Stackhouse should call it quits if he doesn’t reach his ultimate goal of winning a championship with the Brooklyn Nets this year.
Derek Fisher (Free Agent)
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NBA Experience: 16 Years
Most people, including Derek Fisher himself, probably believed he would end his career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now that he’s been traded away from L.A., his future is certainly unclear.
Fisher has a couple suitors for this upcoming season, but none of them are with a team that will give him a prominent role. Some of the teams that are interested in Fisher’s services are the Cavaliers, Thunder, Nets and Bulls. Playing behind point guards like Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams and Derrick Rose shouldn’t be that appealing to Fisher since he will need to take a backseat with any of these teams.
Fisher’s production has also been significantly down over the past few seasons. He hasn’t averaged over 3.3 assists per game since the 2005-06 season.
Since Fisher’s role and scoring has declined each of the last five seasons, it should be a sign that his time in the NBA is coming to an end.
Juwan Howard (Free Agent)
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NBA Experience: 18 Years
Now that he has nothing left to accomplish in his NBA career, he should be able to retire in peace. The Herald Tribune, however, is reporting that Howard said he still has an “itch” to continue his playing career and is preparing to play into his 19th season.
Honestly, this makes no sense at all because Howard has been a bench warmer for the past five seasons. Over this time, Howard has been on five different teams and has averaged only three points and 2.4 rebounds per game each season. During the Heat’s run through the playoffs last season, Howard only played around 24 minutes throughout the entire four rounds combined.
Howard may return for one more season, but once he turns 40 years old in February he should be ready to retire by the end of the year.
Kurt Thomas (Knicks)
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NBA Experience: 17 Years
Kurt Thomas will be turning 40 years old on opening night of the 2012-13 season.
Thomas hasn’t been a productive NBA player in six years. Over this time, his highest points-per-game average for an entire season was only 6.3 points per game. His average for blocks per game and steals per game has also been less than one for each of the past six seasons.
Thomas has also been hit with the injury bug a number of times throughout his career. Only once during his 17 NBA seasons has he played in all 82 games. Just last year he suffered from a concussion that forced him to miss 13 games.
It is highly doubtful that any team will be interested in signing the 40-year-old Thomas once his contract runs out at the end of the season.