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Spurs owner, Tony Parker expect Tim Duncan will return next season

Jun 17, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

Tim Duncan, LeBron James Tim Duncan, LeBron James

Tim Duncan didn’t look old — he averaged 15.4 points a game with a 60.8 true shooting percentage, plus he pulled down 10 rebounds a game and was a defensive force in the paint during the NBA Finals.

But the 38-year-old wouldn’t directly say after the game if he planned to return next season.

“I’m guessing you’re leading me into a question that I’m not going to answer, so I’ll just go ahead and avoid that one,” Duncan said when a reporter tried in a round about way to ask about his future.

Duncan is hard to read, but people around the team had the sense he would be back for at least one more run. That’s what Spurs lead owner Peter Holt and teammate Tony Parker told the San Antonio Express-News.

Holt said, “Tim and Manu are going to play until they die, so I think we are in pretty good shape. Tim and Manu want to play until they die, somewhat sincerely, actually.”

“It will come to an end but I don’t think next year,” Parker said. “I think everybody’s gonna come back.”

Duncan did give a hint he would be back. Duncan was asked after Game 5 about what Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard brought to the table and after raving about him for a bit this was Duncan’s last sentence:

“I’m honored to be on this team right now because he’s going to be great for years to come, and I’m going to hold on as long as I can.”

Duncan, Parker, and Manu Ginobili — not to mention Danny Green, Marco Belinelli, and others — are all under contract for one more year. Basically the Spurs can bring this same team back. The only free agents are Patty Mills and Boris Diaw, and thanks to Duncan taking a pay cut on his last deal down to $10 million the Spurs have the flexibility to re-sign those guys and/or chase other players (see what we’re talking about with flexibility, Lakers fans). The only guys on the roster beyond next season are Tiago Splitter, plus Kawhi Leonard (who will get a big contract extension from the team off his rookie deal).

Expect the Spurs to get the band back together for one more run. After that…. who knows?

Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich in no hurry to move on 

 

  1. kb2408 - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Barring injury, back to back champs.

    • kb2408 - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      And they need to keep their role players together (Mills, Boris, Green, etc.). They can’t let Mills get away, dude can flat out shoot the rock. And he’s tough as nails.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      That would be a first for them.

      I’m not sure they’re going to be able to play this next season with the same single minded motivation that a crushing defeat in 2013 provided them, so we shall see.

      • bhunter1995 - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        You act like these players need extra motivation when it comes to the NBA finals. Regular season games are one thing but the playoffs bring out the inner effort in every player, the spurs didnt win because they had extra motivation from last year, that is ESPN hype talking, everyone goes 150% in the finals and the Heat lost because they were the lesser of the two teams.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 17, 2014 at 6:57 PM

        bhunter…

        can’t believe I’m siding with Anti on this…

        but we all know that the Spurs won it all in 2003, 2005 and 2007

        What happened in 2004, 2006 & 2008?

        That is was anti was referring to.

        They’ve never repeated even when they were clearly a great team as winning 3 titles in 5 yrs would suggest.

        They were oh for three in trying to win back to back titles.

        So, Anti is actually correct that this is something they haven’t done yet.

        And they didn’t repeat after winning in 1999 either although Duncan didn’t have Tony or Manu then…

        last point, Pop and all the players talked SO MUCH about how losing it when it was so close the year before affected them.

        It was a HUGE motivation for them. They ALL talked about, from Pop on down…

        They don’t have a crushing defeat to motivate them this coming season, the way they did coming into this season.

        Now, I’m NOT a Heat fan or an LBJ fan. I rooted for the Spurs.

        Anyone but the Heat.

      • mrhonorama - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        They also play (and have played for years) in a much tougher conference.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:13 AM

        Excuses.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      motivation only factors into so much. its about talent and skill set. if anything, they just need to stay ahead of “time’ (as well as injuries, of course), for one more year before the wheel literally fall off the “old men”.

  2. dadeyemi - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Tim Duncan sacrificed for the benefit of his team. Kobe got his. Both have 5 rings. Guess who’s closer to getting his 6th?

    • bucrightoff - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      And Kobe says he’s “not cool” with Duncan possibly getting his 6th ring before Kobe. Actually Kobe when you took that absurd deal, you were cool with not getting a 6th ring.

      • hwatt - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        ooooooooh bust out, lol

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 17, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        Thank you bucrightoff

        you’re obviously more well regarded than I am on here…

        I’ve mentioned many times that Kobe chose money over winning with his last contract and all the haters come out and thumb me down.

        BUT, YOU are exactly RIGHT.

        You nailed it when you said Kobe was cool with not getting a 6th ring…

        doesn’t matter though as Duncan’s career > Kobe’s career and that was true BEFORE this season.

        Kobe rode Shaq’s coat tails to his first 3 titles. Kobe was NOT “the man” on those three title teams.

        He was Shaq’s Scottie Pippen.

        Folks, just Google the stats for yourselves to see how THOROUGHLY Shaq outplayed Kobe in those Finals…

    • kb2408 - Jun 17, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Let it go, the LAKERS gave Kobe what they felt he was worth. Kobe is getting blamed but what was he supposed to do turn it down? Would you have turned it down? The Spurs probably can’t afford to give Timmy a contract like Kobe got. The LAKERS are a business. They got that billion dollar tv deal in large part because of Kobe. Players will see how they took care of Kobe and their other former stars. I’d like to think that will go far with elite free agents.

      • billtetley53 - Jun 17, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        Typical dumb response. The difference between Duncan,Garnett,and Dirk vs. Kobe is that they care about making the team better and are willing to sacrifice to do it.

        The TV deal really makes no difference. Sure they can pay the taxes, but it also hamstrings their exceptions. Ive tried to get you to read the cba, then again you wont understand it.

        Tim sacrificed, he got himself a title. Kobe got his and he wont sniff another title before he retires. Youre stupid not to be angry at the greedy pos, because your team is going to stink for years, Trading away 1st rounders, no hope to get much better before 2019.

        SA could most definitel have payed him, but he chose to help out.

        I really. Hope LA continues to “take care” of aging players, it hurts the franchise in the long run.

        What a blind homer you are. Everyone else is wrong includiblng the “experts” you always tout, but youre right? Youre as dumb as a bag of hammers.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 17, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        It’s Kobe that has to let it go…

        He wants his cake and to eat it too…

        He TOOK the money and then he said that the Lakers organization would NOT take a step down, fall flat etc…

        Uh, 27 & 55 is falling flat… The Lakers have to be 18 games OVER .500 this season just to reach .500 for the last two seasons and this next one coming up.

        they won’t be 18 games over .500 so that means for a three year period, they are below .500 as a team.

        Kobe says he wants to win still, not rebuild.

        he says this AFTER taking the money.

        There was an article on here the other day that mentioned how difficult it would be for the Lakers to have a solid bench, to have solid depth due to Kobe’s contract.

        Pacers starting 5 were very good, but no depth.

        Many teams need better depth. San Antonio has depth.

        The Lakers don’t and WON’T due to Kobe’s contract.

        He NOW needs to SHUT up about not winning etc…

        When they struggle this season, and they will struggle, Old man Kobe is gonna be grouchy and mean and that will be on his good days…

        Can’t wait!!!

      • terrence1922 - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        He could have turned down the offer. If he really wanted to chase that elusive (now very elusive) 6th ring then he would have offered to take a much smaller contract. The point is that Kobe isn’t as serious as he says about winning at this point.

  3. misterdreamer119 - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Not a Spurs fan but they play beautiful offensive team ball. Their defense is the only weakness. This is why the Mavs took them to 7 games. Mavs can shoot and the move the ball well.
    Also not enough is said about the tremendous international style on this team.
    Countries represented on Spurs:
    Bahamas, France, Argentina, Brazil, Italia, Australia, and Im probably forgetting a nation or two. Congrats to the Spurs.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Too much is said about the international style on that team.

      • azarkhan - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        “Too much is said”? Coming from someone who comments way too much, that’s kinda funny.

  4. Gordon - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Duncan would be nuts to retire now. They destroyed the Heat. I’m not sure who could beat them next year.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Each season is different, obviously.

      People seem to be overreacting a little bit to three games in the finals – but one cannot expect the Spurs to put up that kind of offense over the course of a season (or even against another team). It’s unrealistic. It’s worth noting that the Spurs had the 6th ranked offense last season, and up until Games 4 and 5 of the Finals had the 2nd ranked offense in the playoffs.

      Everything clicked for them at the right moment when they hit the road in the finals – but that level of play is unsustainable.

      • azarkhan - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        “but that level of play is unsustainable.”

        Unless, of course, the Spurs were to play the abysmal Heat again. Then the Spurs could set more records for annihilating an opponent.

        http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/06/16/spurs-set-modern-record-for-nba-finals-offensive-rating/

      • antistratfordian - Jun 17, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        Even if they were they still couldn’t sustain it.

  5. campcouch - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    It’s hard to dismiss teams like the Clippers,OKC,Dallas,Portland and Houston…especially with potential trades and free agency. Mills and Diaw had a Finals that all bench players dream of and they undoubtedly had a huge hand in the victory. If those guys decide to leave,they’ll be hard pressed to duplicate those contributions. It’s not only the western teams,but even the easily dismissed East has some teams that are on the rise and can improve with a few moves as well.

    The Spurs coached and played a masterful series and exploited matchups and weaknesses,but I don’t know if they can catch another team like that in a 7 game series. Of course Pop and Duncan would find a way to feed me crow,but I’ll take my chances.

  6. rn1997 - Jun 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Apparently greatness IS UNSUSTAINABLE…….The Heat proved that this year!!!!!!

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