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COPY-Flip Saunders thinks Garnett will return next season

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI
AP Basketball Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders thinks Kevin Garnett will return for a 21st NBA season next year.

Garnett is not expected to play in the Wolves' finale against Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. Saunders says that if he did play, he believes it would be an indication that Garnett would be calling it a career.

Garnett has only played in five of the 25 games since he returned to Minnesota in a trade with Brooklyn. Knee issues and an illness have kept him out, quickly deflating a team that was buoyed by the franchise icon's return.

Saunders says he believes Garnett, who will be a free agent in July, will want to ensure that he goes into the summer healthy so he can prepare himself for next year.

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