Kevin Garnett may be 39 years old and a shell of his former self, but that’s not going to stop Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders from starting Garnett next season. In an extensive Q&A with Grantland’s Zach Lowe, Saunders revealed that Garnett will be in the starting lineup to begin the year:
He’s gonna start. That’s who he is. KG is a starter. He’s the best power forward on our team, actually. No one rebounds better. He’s the best help defender. No one communicates better. He knows the offense, and he can pass it.
Garnett hasn’t not started a game since his rookie season, which was way back in 1995-96. You could argue that he shouldn’t be starting anymore given his advanced age and diminishing skills, but Saunders makes good points about what KG still brings to the table. He’s still a solid rebounder, effective defender and smart player.
Even with Garnett starting, No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns will see plenty of minutes. Garnett likely won’t play much more than 20 minutes per game, and the health of Nikola Pekovic is always in question. Lowe asked Saunders if Towns would start over Pekovic, but the head coach played coy.