MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Timberwolves are preparing for life without Kevin Garnett as training camp approaches.

If he will not retire the Wolves have been working on a strategy to buy out the final year of Garnett’s contract, a man with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The man spoke on condition of anonymity because no deal was finished.

Garnett has yet to fully participate with the Timberwolves on substantial talks about his want for the coming season. That’s caused the Timberwolves direction to contemplate several scenarios and alternatives for the 40-year old franchise star, including the chance or a buy out he determines to retire after 21 seasons in the league, including 13 1/2 in Minnesota

It’d be his 22nd season in the league if he determines to play.

Garnett is under contract for $8 million next season, but has been hampered seriously by recurring knee and leg issues over the last two years.

But Garnett has served as a valuable mentor to a a roll that was young and impressionable, helping Karl- Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng learn about what it takes to achieve success in the NBA. Towns, in particular, has lauded the sway of Garnett and has taken to wearing a throwback Garnett Wolves jersey during several public appearances.

The buy out talks were reported by eSPN.

Garnett was quite successful when he was on the court, supplying a defensive existence and worth that belied his paltry averages of 3.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. But his body wouldn’t permit him to play for continual stretches. The Timberwolves also have centre Nikola Pekovic under contract for two more seasons. Pekovic has long-term foot problems that have left him unable to play, so the possibility of having two large guys with legs that are poor on the roll is an intimidating one for a team that’s expecting to stop the longest busy playoff drought in the league this season.

Coach Flip Saunders engineered a reunion between the Wolves and Garnett in 2015, convincing the expert that was proud to come back home and help him rebuild a franchise that bottomed out after the departure of Garnett. The magnetic star spoke of one day expecting to become an owner in Minnesota and was revered by the children on the roll.

But Saunders died unexpectedly after a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma just before last season began and Taylor has sold two minority positions in the franchise this summer and had talks with other groups about finally selling his majority share, making little sign that Garnett will manage to assume that sort of a job.

News Source: FoxSports