Commentary

Green pay: Garnett cashes in with extension worth $60M

Originally Published: July 31, 2007
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Kevin Garnett has already given his new team something substantial.

A discount.

To clinch his Tuesday trade to the Boston Celtics, Garnett agreed to a three-year contract extension worth just over $51 million.

Kevin Garnett
AP Photo/Steven SenneKevin Garnett's wearing of the green includes a significant deal to remain in Boston.

By extending his current contract and eliminating the early termination option that would have allowed him to be a free agent after next season -- in a complicated transaction best described as an "extend and trade" -- Garnett also earned $8.8 million in trade bonuses that will be spread out evenly over the next five seasons, taking the value of the extension to $60 million.

Garnett, 31, was eligible for a three-year extension worth nearly $90 million including trade bonuses.

Salary figures obtained by ESPN.com show that Garnett's salary will be $14.7 million in the 2009-10 season, $17.1 million in 2010-11 and $19.5 million in 2011-12, when he'll be 36. Garnett was already scheduled to earn $22 million and $23 million over the next two seasons.

(For salary-cap purposes, however, his salary in each of those years will jump by $1.75 million to account for the trade kicker, making it $23.75 million for 2007-08, $24.75 million for 2008-09, $16.4 million for 2009-10, $18.8 million for 2010-11 and $21.2 million for 2011-12.)

All of the above is still elite-player money, obviously, but will rank Garnett as Boston's third-highest-paid player behind Paul Pierce ($19.8 million) and Ray Allen ($18.8 million) in 2009-10. Pierce, who turns 30 in October, is signed through 2010-11 and Allen, who just turned 32, is signed through 2009-10.

Garnett agreed to a similar reduction in Minnesota in October 2003, when he signed a five-year, $100 million extension with the Wolves. The final year of his original $126 million megadeal paid him $28 million, with a drop to $16 million for the 2003-04 season.

The Celtics are almost certain to be a luxury-tax payer in the next two seasons, but the lower numbers in Garnett's final three years could lead to sufficient flexibility that enables Boston management to use its mid-level exception to put an extra role player or two around its new star trio.

To fill out the rest of this season's roster, NBA front-office sources indicate that Boston is expected to focus on minimum-salaried acquisitions, since it will have more than $56 million invested in Garnett, Pierce and Allen alone.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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