The NBA said goodbye to several superstars in the offseason led by Kobe Bryant. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen followed suit and retired from basketball this summer. At the end of the 2016-17 NBA season, there are players who will likely call it a career and hang up their sneakers.
Here is SportsRageous’ list of five players who could retire at the end of the season. It should be noted that Paul Pierce of the Los Angeles Clippers is not on it. He already announced that this season is his last in a piece via The Player’s Tribune.
1. Dirk Nowitzki, 38, Dallas Mavericks
“The Germanator” has been in the NBA since 1998 and he became the greatest European player in the league’s history. He recently signed a two-year deal with the Mavericks this offseason. He has also stated in many interviews that he has no plans of retiring at the end of the season.
However, Nowitzki has only played in five games this season so far. He missed a bunch of games due to an Achilles injury and there is no timetable for his return. He has been relatively healthy in the past three seasons but Father Time might have finally caught up with him.
In 19 seasons with the Mavericks, Nowitzki has won one championship back in 2011 and an MVP Award in 2007. He is a sure-fire Hall of Famer and considered as one of the best players of his generation.
2. Vince Carter, 39, Memphis Grizzlies
The greatest dunker of all time is still racking up points with the Grizzlies this season. He is averaging 9.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists this season. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season but he might decide to retire instead.
Although Carter has a goal of playing 20 seasons in the NBA, it is the right time to retire. He has nothing left to prove as he is a future Hall of Famer. However, he is not on the top of the list because he might sign with a championship contender next season.
3. Manu Ginobili, 39, San Antonio Spurs
It has been rumored for the past two summers that Manu Ginobili is retiring. However, he re-signed with the Spurs this offseason and extended his 15-year stay in the NBA. He has helped San Antonio win four NBA championships.
The 38-year-old star’s production has declined in the past couple of years and his role for the Spurs has changed. But just like Nowitzki and Carter, Ginobili is also a future member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
4. Jason Terry, 39, Milwaukee Bucks
Many people thought that Jason Terry would retire this offseason after a lackluster stint with the Houston Rockets. However, he signed to play for the Milwaukee Bucks under head coach and former Mavs teammate Jason Kidd.
Terry can only offer veteran experience to a very young Bucks team. If he retires at the end of the 2016-17 NBA season, he has a championship ring in his career resume.
5. Chris Andersen, 38, Cleveland Cavaliers
“The Birdman” is not the same player he once was back in his heyday with the Nuggets. He has been suspended and kicked out of the league during his career but he has carved a nice reputation as an energy guy off the bench.
Andersen earned a championship with the Miami Heat back in the 2013-14 NBA season. He has the chance to win a second one with the Cavaliers, assuming he retires at the end of the season.
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