Jun 17, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT
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
Mar 30, 2015, 1:59 PM EDT
Rockets point guard to have surgery on wrist
Mar 30, 2015, 1:27 PM EDT
Phil Jackson disciple Craig Hodges now coaching Westchester Knicks
Mar 30, 2015, 12:49 PM EDT
Jordan made preseason debut at Washington High School, but at one point, it seemed Washington High alum Junior Bridgeman would be the big draw
Mar 30, 2015, 12:11 PM EDT
D.J. Augustin throws the alley-oop, and two Thunder players go for it. Westbrook won.
Mar 30, 2015, 11:33 AM EDT
Good decision to go pro, poor decision to end video how he did
Mar 30, 2015, 10:58 AM EDT
Nothing raises a team’s spirits like playing New York
Mar 30, 2015, 10:22 AM EDT
Jonas Jerebko thought his pump fake worked, but…
Mar 30, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT
Hunter hit biggest shot of NCAA tournament, backed it up with strong junior season
Mar 30, 2015, 9:08 AM EDT
Mullin has played prominent role in Vivek Ranadivé’s organization
Mar 30, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT
The first and eight seeds are fairly set, after that the West is a jumbled mess.
Mar 30, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
The race for the eighth seed could go down to the final night.
Mar 30, 2015, 1:39 AM EDT
The Rockets are now the two seed in the West.
Mar 30, 2015, 12:01 AM EDT
Hennigan has done a solid job with the rebuild in his first three seasons.
Mar 29, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT
The Clippers beat the Celtics and had the best highlight of the game.
Mar 29, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT
All our thoughts are with him.
Mar 29, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT
Monty Williams is not amused.
Mar 29, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
The Rockets won 99-91 in Washington.
Mar 29, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT
You needed this in your life.
Mar 29, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT
Obviously, the Spurs will match any offer he gets.
Mar 29, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
This likely means the end of the Nate Robinson era.
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- Breaking down Eastern Conference playoff chase with two weeks left in season 5
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