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Report: Tim Duncan faces June 24 deadline to opt in to final year of contract

Jun 13, 2014, 6:44 PM EDT

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Most contract options must be decided by June 30, but teams and players can negotiate earlier dates. For example, Carmelo Anthony faces a June 23 deadline to exercise his early termination option (which he says he’ll do).

Another player with an earlier-than-usual option date: Tim Duncan.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan has until June 24 to notify the team whether he intends to pick up his $10.3 million player option for next season, according to sources familiar with the terms of the contract.

The date still can be moved closer to July 1, sources said, if both parties agree to do so

sources say the Spurs, to this point, are quietly operating under the assumption that Duncan and Popovich will indeed be back next season

The reliable ShamSports.com lists Duncan’s 2014-15 option at $10 million, but as the site accurately notes, the NBA prohibits option-year salaries from decreasing from the prior season. Duncan made $10,361,446 this season.

The NBA ratified Duncan’s contract, anyway. Maybe the league has to just let that stand, or maybe it can force the Spurs to raise Duncan’s option-year salary to equal his 2013-14 salary. It’s unclear.

Anyway, I doubt less than $400,000 makes a difference.

At or near $10 million is a pretty fair salary for Duncan at this point, and he if wants to return, he could just opt in. Or maybe he’d opt out to re-sign for less, giving San Antonio room to sign an impact free agent.

However, this option has little to do with whether Duncan returns. He could easily opt in and then retire later in the offseason, walking away from his guaranteed salary. The option, related to retirement, matters only if Duncan decides to extend the Spurs the courtesy of informing them on his future before opting in. Opting out would give him no more or less flexibility to retire.

Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are under contract through next season. (As are Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Marco Belinelli and Cory Joseph). I suspect everyone will come back for one more run.

Duncan could either opt in or opt out, but if he does the latter, plenty of doors remain open for him to return. It’s just one step in the process.

  1. antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    Whoa… could you imagine what San Antonio would turn into if Pop and Duncan left. Ghost town.

    • therealhtj - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      Kinda like last night’s game midway through the 4th.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:04 PM

        Kind of… but much more permanent.

      • therealhtj - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        I don’t like those podunk peckerwoods any more than anyone living in a big market, but it’s hard to argue with their track record. Sure a lot of it had to do with getting generational players twice in a decade, but they’ve got a strong organization there that probably won’t suck for long. Will they be contenders for 20 years running once those guys are gone? I wouldn’t think so, but they won’t turn into Milwaukee over night either.

      • gbfb88 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        @therealhtj, thank you for nailing that comeback so hard.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 14, 2014 at 3:08 AM

        @therealhtj – I don’t have a problem with anyone in San Antonio, so I don’t know anything about them being “podunk peckerwoods”… but their winning track record is all about Pop and Duncan. The franchise never advanced to the finals until those two forces were combined.

  2. jzone954 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    Hey. Miami has run into a team that is too deep and awesome. No shame in loosing to Pop, Duncan and the rest of the spurs. Yea my team is down 3-1 on the verge of being knocked off, but I can’t lie, the way the spurs have played this series I’ve really appreciated and have been humbled by. Hopefully we can stretch this thing out, go Heat.

    • sellahh - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:34 PM

      Hey. There is nothing aweosme about Miami, maybe other than them losing again and LeBum losing in his 5th finals appearance.

    • markv00 - Jun 15, 2014 at 4:07 AM

      Alright, another true Heat fan giving the Spurs respect. It’s appreciated, there’s so much crazy talk on these boards, it’s refreshing to just talk basketball. This just looks to be our year for the reasons you stated, doesn’t mean the heat suck, it’s hard to do what the heat have done. Last year the Spurs were in a position to win, blew it, and the Heat knew and were good enough to make them pay. This time our guys a playing awesome ball and so far look unstoppable.

      I know it’s a hard pill to swallow for Heat fans, I felt sick after last years finals. I keep saying this is great, history making ball were watching and should be enjoying this ride. When “Great and Great” collide it’s awesome to watch.

  3. sportsfan18 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Wonder if Duncan might ride off into the sunset if they win it all this year…

    Would Pop stay through next season, Manu’s last or would he try and stay until Tony retired and then retire with him so he remained coaching until the last of the Big Three have retired?

    I don’t know and I’m asking.

    I’ve not heard anything about it.

    Have any of you heard about when Pop might retire

    • redbaronx - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      @sportsfan18 – I haven’t heard him say anything about retirement. I would think if he’s feeling healthy and spry enough to continue the road travel regimen that he would not retire. The only reason Phil Jackson retired was his hip and the strain of travel. Pop could be interested in laying the foundation for the next generation of Spurs like Leonard. It would be a great challenge to seek a championship with a new generation of players and Pop is competitive. I think as long as he’s physically and mentally capable, I could see him wanting to test himself and see whether he could mold the Spurs into a new 3.0 championship version. The 1.0 first championship in 1999 was with David Robinson, Avery Johnson, Sean Elliott, Mario Elie, and the rookie….Tim Duncan).

      In effect you can already see the 3.0 version happening. With the exception of game 1 and game 2 Leonard, Green, and Diaw had much greater impact than Parker, Ginobili, and Duncan. I don’t think it is outside the realm of possibility that the Spurs could transition into a new contending Spurs version with Pop coaching, and some new blood to offset the losses of Duncan and Parker and the vet brigade. I think Spurs management is smart enough to figure out how to remold them, and if Pop can stay on long enough to groom a replacement coach, the Spurs could be around for a really long time.

      • bdachan12 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:09 PM

        Except that Diaw is actually a month older then Parker.

      • redbaronx - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:11 PM

        The comment was more a reflection of how there’s a new dynamic with Leonard, Diaw, and Green. Leonard and Green are definitely good enough and young enough to form the basis of a new Spurs champion with some other pieces in another year or two.

        As far as Diaw is concerned, it’s just proof that the Spurs can scout and plugin guys to their system and make them effective, even if they’ve fallen off the GM radar with other NBA teams.

  4. seagram757 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    That’s like asking how would it be if the Heat win the championship this year…not likely

  5. csbanter - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    Tim Duncan doesn’t have deadlines, he’s Tim Duncan. Nuff said.

  6. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 14, 2014 at 2:16 AM

    He’ll come back to defend their NBA title.

  7. whitwarren - Jun 14, 2014 at 2:56 AM

    Imagine if he plays 2 more years and 3peats.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 14, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      Man is a stud… already has a better career than Kobe and he’s still adding to it…

  8. AZ Dem - Jun 14, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    This is pretty easy. 3 options:

    1, Duncan retires. He’s 38, and he’s going to go out on top.

    2, Duncan picks up the option and announces that next season is his farewell tour. Nothing wrong with that. He’s first ballot Hall of Fame. I still have a John Havlicek commemorative black and white photo with a mechanically generated autograph. I was a kid, but I appreciated that it was a big deal. My father and I were in an opposing team’s arena, but everybody gave Havlicek a standing ovation. It was respect.

    3, Duncan re-ups with a 2-3 year contract.

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