Are the Spurs done? People have said that over the last two years only to be proven wrong. If the Spurs want to stay in championship contention though, there will be some hard decisions that have to be made.
First is Manu Ginobili. He had his worse season as a pro and is an unrestricted free agent. The Spurs, remarkably, will be about $18 million under the cap. Even if coach and General Manager Gregg Popovich decides to bring back Ginobili, the Spurs will be in a position to add another player. It’s not likely that Ginobili will be able to command big dollars.
Tim Duncan, assuming he doesn’t hang it up, returns at a modest $10.3 million, while Tony Parker will make $12.5 million next season. Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard are locked up at least through the 2014-2015 season, while Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal are owed qualifying offers.
All of this proves why the Spurs have been possibly the best organization in all of sports. Enticing two star players in Parker and Duncan to take less than market value deals and continuing to draft excellent prospects have kept the franchise in contention year after year. There is also the issue of Popovich and speculation that he may retire when Duncan does.
Duncan could ride off into the sunset now, but he is owed $19 million over the next two seasons. Duncan has never been viewed as money-hungry, but it’s hard to leave that much money on the table, especially if he can still play. Duncan, who had games of 20 points and 14 rebounds, 30 points and 17 rebounds, and 24 points and 12 rebounds during the NBA Finals, can still play. But does he want to?
He has nothing to prove and already has four championships. He’s viewed by many as the greatest power forward ever. There’s no doubt that the entire city of San Antonio, including Popovich, are waiting on pins and needles.