Timberwolves expect Kevin Garnett to play next season

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A recent injury to Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett in January has generated legitimate concerns about his future moving forward and if the soon to be 40-year-old forward will return to play after this season. He has not played since the injury, but the Timberwolves expect Garnett to return for the 2016-2017 season.

While Garnett is aging, he is still a very important member of the Timberwolves. Garnett has done a great job mentoring their young players and helping them grow. He will be expected to continue in that role. While he has averaged a career low of 14.6 minutes per game this season in 38 games, Garnett will likely see that number decrease even more next season.

Expect Garnett to play a similar role to the one that Juwan Howard played for the Miami Heat during his later years. He will in effect act as an assistant coach, helping the players grow. Unlike Howard, Garnett will still likely play at least 10 minutes per game.

Garnett's work has shown immediate dividends. His work with Karl-Anthony Towns has helped Towns flourish. In his rookie season, the 20-year-old center is averaging 18.2 points per game, 1.7 blocks per game, 1.9 assists per game, and 10.5 rebounds per game.

Towns has made over 50 percent of his shots this season thanks to his strong work around the rim. It's hard to think that working with Garnett, a three-time league leader in rebounds per game, hasn't helped him make such a quick transition.

Gorgui Dieng, Andrew Wiggins, and Nemanja Bjelica have also shown improvement this season thanks to the guidance from Garnett. This season, Kevin Garnett is averaging 3.2 points per game, 0.3 blocks per game, 0.7 steals per game, 1.6 rebounds per game, and 3.9 rebounds per game. Each is a career low for him.

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