Real Reason Why The Celtics Are Paying Kevin Garnett $5 Million Until Next Year

Mary Raleigh
13/10/2023

Kevin Garnett has been receiving $5 million every season since 2016 from the Boston Celtics.

Kevin Garnett will be remembered as one of the greatest players in NBA history and a bonafide 2000s icon in the sport. The 2008 Champion had a very successful playing career, as it turns out, Garnett has been paid $5 million by the Celtics every season since 2016. This will continue until next year, after which the Celtics will no longer owe Garnett money.

The reason behind these payments is essentially deferred salary. According to NBC Sports, Garnett had a deal set up with the Celtics where $35 million of his salary would be paid out over seven years after he retired from the NBA. Garnett has been out of the league since 2016 and has been receiving $5 million every year from 2017 to 2024.

We’ve seen people receive contract buyouts and stay on a team’s books for years, as we saw with Luol Deng on the Lakers, who made $5 million until the end of the 2020/21 season.

Garnett averaged 17.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists over his career and was one of the premier power forwards the league ever saw. While his career cannot rival Tim Duncan’s, he and Dirk Nowitzki shared an intense on-court rivalry. Multi-positional and skilled big men are often compared to Garnett nowadays, given how he changed the league in his prime.

Kevin Garnett Is The Highest-Earning Power Forward In NBA History

We’re living in an era where every modern player stands atop lists of highest-paid players in league history because of the sheer size of modern contracts. The career earnings of superstars in the ’90s can now be earned in one four-year contract.

Jaylen Brown just signed the first $300 million contract in the NBA while Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are on track to possibly become the first $400 million men in the NBA.

Kevin Garnett earned $334 million over the course of his career, retiring while making $8 million for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He signed a unique extension with the Wolves in 2003 and became the first player to earn over $100 million in a single contract, extending for five years, $128 million at that time.

Anthony Davis will unseat Garnett soon enough, having made $268 million over the course of his career until now. With one of the richest contract extensions in NBA history to kick in for AD in 2025/26, he will likely end his current contract cycle with career earnings that surpass $486 million dollars.

Kevin Garnett Wanted To Join The Lakers Before The Celtics

Garnett is a Celtics legend today, helping lead the team to its first title of the new millennium in 2008. They haven’t won a title since so the memories of what Garnett brought to the team are strong. But it was almost never going to happen, as KG initially requested a trade from the Wolves to the Lakers to play alongside Kobe Bryant. He never joined because Kobe didn’t respond to him.

“I wanted to link with Kobe… I shouted at Kobe he didn’t pick the lineup. T-Lue (Tyronn Lue) and Kobe were close and he said ‘Shoot at him again and see what he on.’ So I shouted again and he didn’t get back, so I had to make a decision.”

Ultimately, it all worked out as the pair reignited the Celtics-Lakers rivalries from the ’80s by meeting in the Finals in 2008 and 2010. Both got one title apiece, but it’s crazy to even think of Garnett being Kobe’s co-star during that era instead of Pau Gasol.

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