After 21 years, Kevin Garnett’s NBA career is over.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

After 21 years, Kevin Garnett’s NBA career is over.

The 40-year-old announced his retirement via an Instagram video on Friday, hours after accepting a buyout from the Timberwolves, which was first reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Had Garnett returned this season, he would’ve become the only player in league history to play 22 seasons.

Garnett’s career ends after a second stint with the Wolves, who drafted him fifth overall out of high school in 1995. He spent 12 years in Minnesota before being traded to the Celtics in July of 2007 as part of the Celtics’ formulation of the Big 3 with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

He won the only championship of his career with the C’s in 2008, memorably screaming, “Anything’s possible!” in the moments after the win.

His career took a disappointing turn, however, when he was dealt to the Nets with Pierce prior to the 2013 season. He spent a season and a half with Brooklyn before waiving his no-trade clause and heading back to Minnesota.

The 15-time All-Star left quite an impression with the Celtics, earning All-Star honors all but one season in Boston while averaging 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds with a stellar 52-percent tally from the field in his 396 games over six seasons in green.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

DAMION LEE

2015-16 season

30 games with Louisville: 33.6 minutes, 15.9 points, 42.8% FG, 2.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals

In his first and only year as a graduate student, fifth-year transfer with Louisville after playing with Drexel during his undergrad years, Lee played a big part in Louisville’s success, but he never made it to the NCAA tournament due to the Cardinals’ self-imposed postseason ban. He was far and away the Cardinals’ top scorer and was named to the All-ACC second team. The Celtics signed him earlier this month after he went undrafted.

Projected role in 2016-17

Lee has the potential to be an explosive player, but don’t expect to see that explosiveness in the NBA this season, as he’ll likely be destined for the D-League.

Biggest strength 

Shooting range

Arguably his biggest asset is his ability to hit shots from anywhere on the floor. In college he shot 255 3-pointers in 124 games at a 36 percent measure. He accompanied that with a reliable 84 percent free throw mark. With this, he has an ability to hit shots from a variety of scenarios, be it off the screen, off the dribble or handoffs.

Biggest weakness

Streakiness

Lee has gone through dry spells in which he possess poor accuracy and/or poor shot selection. With this, accompanied with his modest frame for a shooting guard compared to other NBA players, a streak of coldness really wipes out most of his value on either end of the court, as his offense is his bread and butter.

Likelihood of making final 15

Highly unlikely

The only positive scenario that could potentially present itself is he shoots so well in camp that he ends up as an end-of-the-bench option, but that circumstance would be incredibly unlikely, given he is on an unguaranteed contract and was brought in largely as a camp signing destined for the D-League. Expect him in Maine come the start of the season.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

ABDEL NADER

2015-16 season

35 games with Iowa State: 12.9 points, 48.7% FG, 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals

After transferring from Northern Illinois to Iowa State before his junior year, Nader became a starter his senior year and doubled his scoring average — earning All-Big 12 honorable mention accolades. He also shot 37.1 percent from deep for the Cyclones. 

Projected role in 2016-17

Nader isn’t going to have an opportunity to help the Celtics this season. He’ll spend the regular season developing with the Red Claws. Offensively, the C’s would love for him to flourish into a 3-point shooter with high-level defensive capabilities.

Biggest strength

Intangibles

Nader isn’t going to wow you with his stats, but he will make the heads-up plays that would make Tommy Heinsohn go into a Tommy Points-tossing frenzy. He dives for loose balls, sets hard screens and clogs the passing lanes on defense for a steal or two. Nader has the makeup of becoming a solid future NBA defender.

Biggest weakness

Dribbling

He has a decent two-dribble move when he drives to the basket, but aside from that Nader tends to fall into defensive traps. He’s easy to double-team and can be a turnover machine when he’s forced to put the ball on the floor.

Likelihood of making final 15

Not likely

Nader will head straight to the D-League. He’s skills are very raw. He’ll most likely stay there for the entire regular season unless the Celtics are severely bitten by the injury bug.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

JAMES YOUNG

2015-16 season

23 games with D-League’s Maine Red Claws: 28.3 minutes, 15.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals

After a decent rookie season in the D-League, Young had a rough sophomore campaign — one that had Celtics fans questioning his future in the NBA. In 29 games with the Celtics, he managed to only score 29 points, grab 68 rebounds and dish out nine assists. Young still has a ways to go in reaching his full potential as the 21-year-old heads toward his third year in the league. But after seeing rookies like R.J. Hunter and Terry Rozier earn more playing time than Young last season — especially in the postseason — it raises the question: Is there space for Young on the 2016-17 Celtics?

Projected role in 2016-17

Young’s scoring will make or break his chances of making the team this year. If he can hit 3-pointers at a high level throughout the preseason, he will have a spot on the back end of the 15-man roster. The Celtics are always looking to improve on their outside shooting. Young has shown glimpses of stellar 3-point shooting, but he’s going to have to piece it together and soon.

Biggest strength

3-point shooting

He’s a threat from deep who can knock them down off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations. While attempting nine 3-pointers a night, Young shot 44 percent from behind the arc for the Red Claws during the 2014-15 campaign. The fact that he managed to only shoot 35 percent in the NBA last season is a concern but doesn’t take away from the fact that Young is a good shooter. He’s just been very inconsistent.

Biggest weakness

Explosiveness

Young isn’t a one-on-one scorer who can blow past his defender. His spot-up shooting is his bread and butter. He can finish on the end of fast breaks but can’t beat his man off the dribble. 

Likelihood of making final 15

35 percent

Young will have to prove how valuable he is to the Celtics if he wants to make the team this year. He’s going to have his work cut out for him in trying to beat out R.J. Hunter and Ben Bentil and may end up being the odd man out before the start of the regular season. 

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

MARCUS SMART

2015-16 season

61 games with Celtics: 27.3 minutes, 9.1 points, 34.8% FG, 3.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals

Smart found his role last season, establishing himself as a top defensive force on the Celtics with routine shutdown defense. When Avery Bradley went down in the postseason, Smart made a near-seamless transition into the role of a defense-oriented guard. Offensively, however, he was lacking, as noted by his abysmal sub-35 percent field goal percentage. He did show some potency at times, however, scoring 20-plus points on three occasions. Between Nov. 22 and Dec. 26, he missed 18 games with an injury to his lower left leg.

Projected role in 2016-17

Presumably, his role will be somewhat similar to last year, serving as a second option at the two after Avery Bradley. However, should his scoring continue to improve, he may find himself in a position to start more than just the 10 times he did last season. His defense will never be an issue, which makes him a reliable late- and close-game asset, but to get more minutes this season the scoring will need to improve.

Biggest strength 

Defense

Things are pretty clear with Smart. He’s a solid defender who can help shut down any series of guards in the league. The 22-year-old’s characterization as a solid defender is further accentuated by Brad Stevens’ focus on defense.

Biggest weakness

Offense

It’s a simple and broad definition of a weakness, but it is one. And what makes it all the more infuriating is he can periodically go on runs exhibiting his value offensively, but those instances are too few and far between. The biggest thing preventing Smart from escalating into a higher class of players in the league is his poor shooting and his occasional absence on the offensive end. He asserts he worked to improve offensively, and if that’s the case, it will substantially increase his value as a player.

Likelihood of making final 15

Certain

No chance Smart misses the roster, and depending on how camp goes for him he could establish himself as quite the threat off the bench — or in the starting lineup.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

AL HORFORD

2015-16 season 

82 games with Hawks: 32.1 minutes, 15.2 points, 50.5% FG, 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks

Horford was selected to his fourth All-Star team and continues to be one of the league’s most productive big men. After finishing the 2014-15 season atop of the Eastern Conference with a 60-22 record, the Hawks had somewhat of a disappointing season last year, but Horford was one of their bright spots. For the past two years, his production in points, rebounding and assists are identical and he has improved his average in blocks from 1.3 to 1.5.

Projected role in 2016-17

Horford will be one of the most important players in the front court for the Celtics. He gives the C’s another 15-plus-point scorer and the fact that shoots at a 50 percent clip from the field gives the Celtics a very consistent scorer. Alongside Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson, Horford strengthens the defense down low and he’ll be able to slide back to the power forward position instead of playing center, where he can be much more effective in defending undersized forwards. His mid-range shot — that can extend out to the 3-point arc — will spread the floor on offense, forcing opposing teams to run out to defend him and making room for guys like Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder to take the ball to the rim.

Biggest strength

Mid-range scoring

For the past three seasons Horford has been a 49 percent shooter from inside the 3-point arc. He gives the Celtics a trustworthy scorer in the front court — one they haven’t seen at the power forward spot since Kevin Garnett last wore a Celtics uniform. 

Biggest weakness

Production dips in the postseason

Horford’s numbers tend to take a downward slide in the playoffs. Last spring he averaged 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 46.6 percent from the floor in 10 playoff games for the Hawks. Not a huge drop-off, but that’s been his flaw throughout his past two playoff appearances. 

Likelihood of making final 15

Certain

The Celtics didn’t sign the biggest free agent in franchise history for nothing. Horford is a vital piece for next season and a part of the team’s future.

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

TERRY ROZIER

2015-16 season

39 games with Celtics: 8.0 minutes, 1.8 points, 27.4% FG, 0.9 assists, 1.6 rebounds, 0.2 steals

There’s multiple ways to dress up the 16th overall pick’s rookie campaign, but in short, it was not good. Like the rest of the Celtics rookies last season, Rozier didn’t make much of an impact on the court, seeing largely limited minutes during his time in the NBA. He had a 14-game stint in the D-League, averaging a solid 19.4 points with 7.8 assists and 1.9 steals. He played 19.8 minutes each game in the postseason, shooting just shy of 40 percent from the field and averaging just 4.8 points.

Projected role in 2016-17

It’s fair to believe Rozier will be nothing more than a deep bench player who will occasionally make it into the rotation and earn meaningful minutes when he produces in opportunities granted early in the season. That’s important to note, because a downfall of the 22-year-old last season was his inability to perform when given the chance. Should that continue into this season, it may not take the point guard long to end up in purgatory.

Biggest strength 

Versatility

In peak form, Rozier is quite a talent. A simple glance at what he did in the summer league this year shows all that he is capable of, from spot-up shooting, driving, playing shutdown defense, distributing the ball, the list goes on and on. That’s not to say he has Isaiah Thomas-like talents, but he is more than able to be a viable replacement should he manage to exhibit that talent in the NBA.

Biggest weakness

His game is much different in the NBA vs. the D-League and summer league

As quick as it is to look at what Rozier is capable of, essentially none of it has translated to the NBA level so far in his career. He displays solid versatility, but he hasn’t displayed it in such a way to where it is impactful — or even serviceable, for that matter — in the NBA.

Likelihood of making final 15

98 percent likely he will make the roster

Rozier is more or less a lock purely because the Celtics invested a high pick in the draft to get him and he also tore up the summer league. Now, there’s the possibility he puts in an awful camp and he starts the season in the D-League, but that is exceedingly unlikely.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

JONAS JEREBKO

2015-16 season

78 games with Celtics: 15.1 minutes, 4.4 points, 41.3% FG, 0.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 0.3 steals

The Swedish power forward’s numbers are a tad misleading, especially when considering the solid postseason that he had, but Jerebko server as nothing more than depth on the bench and put up pedestrian numbers on the court during the regular season. However, when the 29-year-old was feeling it, he was absolutely a force. His minutes increased to 27.0 per game during the playoffs, and he averaged 9.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his six appearances, four of which were starts.

Projected role in 2016-17

Don’t rule this out: Jerebko will be the Evan Turner replacement everyone is looking for. While he lacks positional versatility, his ability to knock down shots, play down low and grab rebounds could make him a valuable sixth-man option for Brad Stevens. While he certainly shouldn’t be starting on a nightly basis, there is enough that Jerebko brings to the table that could be oft-used off the bench. His postseason last year made a case for his playmaking ability, so don’t be surprised to see his minutes and numbers increase this season.

Biggest strength 

Explosiveness

There were moments in 2015-16 when Jerebko looked like he could run the Celtics. He can drive into the paint with strength and agility with his top-class Euro-step, but he also can step back and pull from deep. When all of those click, he can be unstoppable and can go off, whether it is for a stretch of games or a handful of minutes off the bench.

Biggest weakness

Tendency to go quiet

As explosive as he is, he has been known to have stretches where he’s a ghost and a non-factor, which is especially discouraging considering what he’s capable of when in his best form. It can make it challenging to count on him from a reliability standpoint when it’s unsure which version of him might show up that day.

Likelihood of making final 15

Certain

Jerebko proved during the postseason just how indispensable he is to the Celtics. He is a lock to not only make the roster but see increased minutes and usage the season.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

With Celtics training camp set to begin on Sept. 26, WEEI.com presents a player-by-player breakdown of the roster. The Celtics have 20 players under contract but will have to cut the roster to 15 by the start of the season.

JORDAN MICKEY

2015-16 season 

23 games with D-League’s Maine Red Claws: 33.4 minutes, 17.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.4 blocks

Mickey was a double-double machine in the D-League and finished the season as the league leader in blocked shots. In his 16 appearances with the Celtics — mostly at the end of lopsided games — he finished with a total of 21 points, 13 rebounds and 11 blocks. Mickey was expected to have a big summer with the Celtics, but he was forced to sit out the Utah league due to a left shoulder injury. He rejoined the C’s in Las Vegas, where he averaged 9.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1 block in five games. 

Projected role in 2016-17

For a team that’s in dire need of a secondary rim protector, the Celtics have high hopes of molding Mickey into that role. But he still has plenty of growing to do on both ends of the floor before he’s given an increased role. Mickey will be a third-stringer this season but certainly is making the most of his opportunities.

Biggest strength 

Rim protection

The 22-year-old has the potential to become a great defender in the NBA due to his knack for making defensive stops. As an undersized big man — 6-foot-8 — Mickey’s instincts allows him to make big plays on the defensive end and his ceiling is very high.  

Biggest weakness

Post scoring

Mickey is limited offensively. He can finish around the rim — back-door plays and putbacks — but his post-up moves still need tweaking. He needs to improve his post moves with his back toward the basket. Mickey has the quick feet and great hands to become a low-post scorer. Although he’s shown that he can make shots beyond the 3-point arc — he shot 35 percent last season for Maine — a low-post game will give the Celtics the kind of forward they don’t have on their bench at the moment and increase his chances of becoming an everyday player in the near future.

Likelihood of making final 15

60/40 in favor of cracking the squad

Mickey should be on the 15-man roster to start the season but most likely will be making trips to and from Portland. Barring any trades or injuries, it’s going to be tough for him to grab minutes over bench guys like Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller — players who can provide much more scoring. 

Blog Author: 
Josue Pavon