Kevin Garnett is about to turn 37 years old. The Boston Celtics big man certainly isn't getting any younger.
That has sparked talk about the possibility of him retiring after the Celtics were bounced from the playoffs by the New York Knicks on Friday.
Garnett's decision may be tied to Paul Pierce's future with the Celtics. Pierce is owed $15.33 million next season, but only $5 million is guaranteed if the Celtics release him by June 30. They also have the option to trade the veteran.
Garnett recently said, via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
One of the big reasons I came here was because of Paul. I demand a lot out of myself, both physically and from a skill level. I'll be lying if I said Paul didn't play into that.
Wojnarowski added, "Once Pierce goes, (the Celtics) know Garnett's decision will be easy."
Greg Dickerson of Comcast SportsNet New England tweeted on Friday:
greg dickerson @gdickerson_mass
Talked to some close to Paul, they are certain he's played his last game as a Celtic. Their quote, all good things must come to an end5/4/2013, 4:30:46 AM
If this was indeed Pierce's last season in Boston, we could be seeing the end of Garnett's career.
Garnett holds career averages of 19.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals. The 15-time All-Star averaged 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.9 blocks and 1.1 steals while shooting 50 percent in about 30 minutes per game.
It's not a question of whether Garnett can still compete in the NBA, obviously. He may not be the same player as he once was, but he's still a very productive player with a knowledge of the game befitting an NBA champion.
It has more to do with if Garnett wants to go through the grind for another season. He's already played 18 seasons in the NBA. He ranks 12th all-time in games played, and seventh in minutes played, according to Basketball-Reference.com. That tends to take a toll.
Right now, NBA fans everywhere are hoping the Celtics keep Pierce this offseason, increasing the chances of seeing Garnett play just a little longer.