Kevin Garnett Has Reportedly Been Paid $5M/Year By Celtics Since Retiring In 2016
Players remaining on a team’s payroll long after they’ve left is nothing unusual.
Josh Smith, for example, was on the Pistons’ payroll for $5.3 million annually until the start of the 2020-21 season, even though he hadn’t played in the league since the 2017-2018 season (it was only for three games that year).
Another example is Luol Deng. In 2016, Deng signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. When the Lakers then went through some front office changes, he basically lost his role on the team.
But Deng, who was long retired, remained in the Lakers’ books until the beginning of the 2022-23 season, because of the stretch provision.
While these two are the most common examples in the past 10 years, there reportedly is a more famous player who has been paid $5 million annually by the Boston Celtics, even though he retired in 2016 (and last played of the Celtics in 2013)… and that superstar is Kevin Garnett.
According to two close NBA sources Garnett has been earning $35 million over seven years from the Boston Celtics since his retirement, with the contract being set to expire in 2024.
Per this 2011 NBA.com article:
In fact, Garnett’s self-funded pension (apart from his NBPA one) will be pretty plush. Two sources told NBA.com that the Celtics forward will still have $35 million coming after he retires. He’ll be due $5 million annually for seven years, the result of deferred salary Garnett and agent Andy Miller got in each of his last two contract extensions. Whatever portion is due from this season might be affected by games lost to the lockout, but it’s not as if Garnett’s financial spigot gets turned off next spring.