Skip to content

Report: Tim Duncan to opt in to final year of contract for $10 million

Jun 23, 2014, 4:04 PM EDT

Tim Duncan Tim Duncan

UPDATE 4:04 pm: Didn’t take long for that rumor to die.

Tim Duncan is going to opt into the final year of his contract, for $10 million, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The idea floated below that he might opt out to take less money may have been discussed but now has been blown out of the water. That he opted in isn’t really a surprise.

While we have talked about it for years next year may actually be the last year of these Spurs as we know them — Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green and Marco Belinelli all will be in the last years of their deals. Only Tiago Splitter and Kawhi Leonard — up for a contract extension — would be the key guys left on the roster.

Then again, these guys could all just do one year deals after that until they’re 50 and just keep on winning.

3:30 pm: I’m not even going to make a Kobe Bryant comparison right here…

Tim Duncan is set to make $10 million next season (the last year of a reduced contract he took with the Spurs) but that year is a player option. It is possible that he decides to retire on top and just walk away from the game. That is also unlikely. Nobody around the team thinks it and when Duncan was praising Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard after Game 5 ended that series, Duncan said he hoped to hang on with the youngster as long as he could.

But he might still opt out, not to leave but rather to re-sign for two more years — and at a rate that saves the Spurs money.

It could happen, tweets Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News.

That would be very Duncan, to opt out then re-sign for two years at $8 million per, giving the NBA champs even more flexibility this summer to try and re-sign Boris Diaw and make other roster tweaks. The Spurs are essentially bringing back the same roster next season but now they could add to it.

What is interesting about two years is that both Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili’s deals are up after next season (as are the contracts for Danny Green and Marco Belinelli). The Spurs would have Duncan, Tiago Splitter and an extended by then Leonard on the roster and have to re-sign everyone else. Does everyone want to go that route?

Still, don’t be surprised if Duncan does this. Quietly. Without fanfare. Just like he does with all his contracts.

  1. 88heatnation - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    How can you dislike this guy

    • azarkhan - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      I’m sure Anti will find a way.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:32 PM

        I’m a big Duncan fan, guy. I’m always talking about his greatness. Just not when he’s working against my interests.

      • tyterry7155 - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:02 AM

        Anti lives to “anti” Coach Pop!

      • tyterry7155 - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:12 AM

        …and the Spurs too!!

    • mazblast - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:03 PM

      The national media and the league suits sure do, because he plays the game right and without fanfare. The only time I’ve seen him do any “look at me” stuff is after the title is won. No flash, no flair, just a calm, cool approach that helps his team win.

      But that doesn’t sell a lot of sh**ty merchandise, so David Stern hates him and the Spurs.

      Spurs win the title, Heat doesn’t, Stern is retired. I’m not necessarily a Spurs fan, but I love Tim Duncan, and basketball life is good.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:34 PM

        Well, his style doesn’t sell. I said during the Finals that he has a “Treebeard” game. He does and it’s not marketable. That doesn’t mean he’s not great. But basketball fans, coaches and players know what the deal is.

  2. aboogy123456 - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Duncan is a tall, skilled, and extremely smart player, so he will be able to contribute, but was I the only one watching this year’s playoffs thinking that his body looks pretty much done? Even during the finals, he looked like he couldn’t move anymore, although he still found ways to contribute. I think for what he offers at this stage in his career, $8 mil sounds fair, it’s not really a discount, and I would be pleasantly surprised if he can play both years.

    • tomshoe - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      He’s lost a few step laterally, but he has length for days, hence his effectiveness on defense.

      Besides, his defense isn’t about smacking shots into the third row, it’s about altering shots and making sure opponents take difficult or inefficient shots. The law of averages will work out in the end.

    • gpatrick15 - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      Yes, I believe you were the only one thinking that.

      • 22yearsagotoday - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        Maybe one other person. Not me.

    • apkyletexas - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      Duncan doesn’t jump, but he hasn’t jumped well for about 10 years, so he’s had plenty of time to adjust his game to playing efficient offense and defense in a less athletic way. One thing to consider about his salary – it doesn’t matter that much in the long run. The Spurs have cut David Robinson in as a minority owner, and they are sure to do the same for Duncan, Parker and Manu once they retire. Any slice of ownership should be worth more in the long run than the $10-$16 million being discussed here.

      • azarkhan - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        The Spurs didn’t “cut” in the Admiral as an owner. Robinson bought his share from former Spurs President & CEO Jack Diller when Diller left the team in 2004.

      • apkyletexas - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        Oh really? And even if you had the money, do you think you could just write a check and buy a share, like grabbing a case of beer at Walmart? If Peter Holt and the other minority shareholders didn’t want Robinson to have a piece, he wouldn’t have a piece. Hence, “cut him in as a minority owner”.

      • azarkhan - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:09 PM

        You make it sound as if it is automatic that Duncan, Parker and Ginobili will get stock in the Spurs. It’s not. Diller approached Robinson and Robinson paid market value. It wasn’t preordained that after retirement Robinson would be allowed to buy shares in the Spurs.

        But you are right about one thing. Buying stock is nothing like “grabbing a case of beer at Walmart”.

      • apkyletexas - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        Parker and Diaw are already owners in two different French teams. If Parker, Ginobili and Duncan want private stock in the Spurs, I would bet it would be made available to them. Imagine what Robinson’s piece is worth with 3 more championships and multiple TV deals since 2004 – even a small piece must be a fortune!

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:03 PM


      Duncan, while aging and 38 yrs old has NEVER had a PER below 20 in the league yet.

      Also, his PER’s are very close, tight together. He’s been so CONSISTENT for so many years.

      He is very PRODUCTIVE on the court.

      Now, he does play few min’s per game and that is due to Father Time…

      But when he is on the court, he has PRODUCED.

      Now, if he plays next season or the year after that too, he has room to decline and STILL be productive.

      Timmy’s career > Kobe’s career.

      • 22yearsagotoday - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        There’s the killer stats backed argument I’ve come to admire. Good job!

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:12 PM

        @sportsfan, I think you make a great argument there, even though I disagree about Kobe. But what do you think Tim Duncan should be worth if he was paid the right price? Let’s assume they are not paying him for what he has done in the past, but what he produces on the court now. I still think that when he’s on the court he’s a top 5-7 power forward/center, but he can’t play help defense anymore and he only will play about 20-25 min a game. I would argue that he was the fourth best player during their run, and I could also see splitter passing him next year because of his defense. I don’t mean to disrespect Duncan in any way, I just was pointing out that $8 mil a year for two years isn’t really a discount.

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        @sportsfan, I think you make a great argument there, but what do you think Tim Duncan should be worth if he was paid the right price? Let’s assume they are not paying him for what he has done in the past, but what he produces on the court now. I still think that when he’s on the court he’s a top 5-7 power forward/center, but he can’t play help defense anymore and he only will play about 20-25 min a game. I would argue that he was the fourth best player during their run, and I could also see splitter passing him next year because of his defense. I don’t mean to disrespect Duncan in any way, I just was pointing out that $8 mil a year for two years isn’t really a discount

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        @sportsfan, good argument, so what do you think Duncan is worth if he does not take a discount? I don’t mean to disrespect him in any way, but he can’t play help defense anymore, he plays 20-25 min a game, and he was probably the fourth best player during their run. I said he was still a player who can contribute in many ways, but I’m just curious what you think because I don’t think $8 mil a year for two years should have been qualified as a discount.

      • billstraehl - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:11 PM

        Pretty sure they said he averaged the MOST minutes of any Spur player in the playoffs. Just amazing.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Duncan is so experienced, so savvy – and obviously still big enough – that he doesn’t really have to do much to make an impact on a game. Defensively he just has to force shooters to take tougher angles, and that doesn’t require a lot of exertion for him. He’s the model of efficiency in that regard.

      Sure, a lot of his layups in the Finals were not pretty to look at. They might remind you of your dad. But they go in and that’s really all that matters, right?

    • billstraehl - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      He’s pretty much been moving that way for about 16 years. Actually better than he was about 3 years ago. I can’t believe he’s ONLY making 10 million. Still playing good defense, gives you 20 a night, and his intangibles, what he does for the chemistry of that TEAM, are off the charts. Every other coach in the league prays for his retirement, despite how much they love watching him play. If you want to play your best, EVERYBODY is a role player, and nobody does that better than Duncan. He’s not flashy-maybe that’s part of why he has stayed so healthy for so long.

    • billstraehl - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:18 PM

      If that’s what you thought about Duncan (I’d have to think you’re not really that familiar with him), what did you think of Wade? Compared to Duncan, he looked like he was about 60, and should be playing for the league minimum. compared to his former self, it looked like his legs were filled with novacaine. Crazy thing is, last year I was screaming at the TV-Get Manu and Splitter off the court, they’re killing the Spurs! This year they were both great. How Manu keeps playing like that, and without Duncan’s economy of movement, is truly remarkable.

    • bougin89 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Are you being serious? In the playoffs Duncan was the Spurs second leading scorer, leading rebounder, and (at least) second best defensive player behind Kawhi. He doesn’t play 20-25 mins a game, where did you get that from? He averaged just shy of 33 mins a game. And not to mention he’s the clear leader of their team. In a league where bigs like Larry Sanders, Javale McGhee, etc. etc. make $10+ million a year Duncan at 10 million is a steal.

    • markisb62 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      You watched the playoffs thinking Duncan’s body looks done? What “playoffs” were you watching? The man’s ’36-per-game’ averages are nearly IDENTICAL to his younger years. His ’36-per’ rebounds AND shot blocks were actually HIGHER. His 36-per scoring was SLIGHTLY down, but with the Spurs team concept, running plays through everyone, that is to be expected seeing as how a much greater number of offensive plays were DESIGNED to go exclusively through him in years past. Even so, his 36-per isn’t down significantly.

      Obviously you missed the overtime of the game 6 Oklahoma series, where they leaned on Duncan so heavily and in an incredible display of how his body IS NOT done (as you say) he just about iced that game with incredible post up moves, shots, and free throws from drawing fouls. You ALSO apparently missed the deciding game 5 of the finals, when down by 8 in the 2nd quarter Pops called the offense to go through DUNCAN (pretty much done body and all), and he hit several shots cutting the lead to a single point before Kawhi hit the 3 pointer that put the Spurs up for the first time. DUNCAN got them there in that position!

      If you think his body is done, then why would be pleasantly surprised if he makes it both years?

      Duncan is NOT done, he STILL has a fabulous game, and his contributions are immeasurable. If that weren’t the case, Duncan himself would be the first to know (not some armchair idiot like yourself who doesn’t watch the games), and he’d leave the game on top. Duncan STILL has next year and probably one after that where he could play at a maximum level and STILL leave at the top!

  3. tomshoe - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Report: Tim Duncan is a god among men.

    That’s great. It should go a long way in trying to re-sign Diaw and Mills, and either Baynes/Bonner.

    Maybe if we get lucky, we can even pick up someone else this season.

    McRoberts? Kirilenko? Granger? Gasol? Ideas?

    • billstraehl - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      Does anyone else have the feeling that Baynes has a huge upside, and is on the perfect team? The guy is huge, and seems to have pretty good instincts. Another two years and you’ll have a starter. I saw one mock draft that had the Spurs getting Mitch McGary from Michigan. I think he would be a perfect fit for them.

  4. robigd - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Would anybody notice if Marco and Bonner were gone? Spurs need to put all of their effort into 1. retaining Diaw, and 2. retaining Mills.

    2014-2015, A well rested Parker and Ginobili, a year older Leonard coming off a summer of working with the best shooting coach in the world… man, it’s great to be a Spurs fan!

    • azarkhan - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Unfortunately Ginobili is playing for Argentina this summer, so he won’t be that well rested.

  5. nclrbrt - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Would everyone on the Spurs go the Duncan route? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. It’s that type of attitude that makes San Antonio quite possibly the best organization in the game. And this is coming from a 50-year Celtic fan.

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      A 50 year Celtics fan knows what makes a good organization. Lakers, too.

  6. rohlo - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    this scenario above would prevent him from leaving san antonio to come back here to so cal and possibly be courted by the lakers or clippers…

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      Duncan isn’t from SoCal… he’s from the Virgin Islands… unless you’re referring to Kawhi, who is from the IE?

    • rohlo - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:37 PM

      yes referring to kawhi! who is fro mriverside king high..i live in the IE now and was at san diego state..i have met kawhi many times at sdsu ARC aztec recreation center…his mom moved from LA to the IE when he was a kid..he use to wear lakers gear in the gyms at the ARC when he was at sdsu!

    • ranfan12 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      i doubt he’d want to come there anyway. spurs fo are smart enough o make good moves, which is why they have another ring

  7. andiroid71 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    aboogy, did you watch the Finals at all? Cause I certainly didn’t see Duncan dragging around a broken body. I saw a vary smart baller who knows how to play to his body’s strengths and limitations. The dude was diving on balls when they were up by 20! He DOMINATED the Heat forward line playing within the team structure. Spurs played smart the whole season.

    Truly a whole team championship if ever their was one. Those bench players got them though the season whilst they played (or not) their “stars”.

    If you asked me Bosh looked like an old dude too scared to go inside, instead settling into the jump shot stage of his career.

    • aboogy123456 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      I don’t disagree with anything you wrote, you are not really countering my argument above.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      Cmon. Watch it again. He is even more creaky than he was before. Of course, it’s kind of hard to notice when you’re talking about a guy who had a creaky game when he was 21.

      Now, that doesn’t mean he isn’t effective. He’s just looking a little more like his age – especially with that gray hair.

    • mazblast - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      The Heat have a forward line? Since when? Their alleged center camps out at the 3-point line because he’s a wimp, and their best big man (LeBron) was playing the point.

  8. rohlo - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    if you read my original post it says kawhi… in the article the writer assumes that the spurs will extend kawhi towards bottom of article ..extending him costs him money versus if he tests the open market. of course some spurs THUMB DOWN THE IDEA of doign to kawhi what the rockets did to parsons.. they didnt read the other post obviously! goign the same route the rockets did wit hparsons would ensure the spurs to be able to keep kawhi instead of him becoming free agent and getting into bidding wars next summer! ill tell you kawhi isnt takign no san antonio discount with his first big contract free agency year! it was great he won finals mvp ,but its gonna make him more costly now!

    again for the people who cant comprehend. if spurs do what rockets did with parsons by declining option on final year of contract then any team can offer a contract lettignthe market determine his worth and spurs would be able to match any offer by any other team and resign him,then they would be able to use his contract with his bird rights and it doesnt hurt the salary cap.if thye pick up his last year then he becomes free agent after this season where somebody is gonna overpay him bigtime!!! causing spurs to get into a bidding war.. thats why the rockets made parsons a restricted free agent so they can go that same route and it won hurt them and they will have parsons long term.spurs could do same with kawhi!

    • markisb62 - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      @ rohlo….
      What a stupid comment.

      How can anyone be taken seriously when within their message they write the following… “doign, wit hparsons, takign, lettignthe, thye…

      Education first, post second.

  9. spc7ray - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Ive always like Kobe-But Duncan has been a class guy from the beginning-Kobe has made much more money but Duncan has easily showed much more class and Im a Laker fan–I remember I was mad one year when Duncan beat out Shaq for the MVP–Well lets just say im not mad anymore–Congratulations Mr Duncan–You are kinda like the Derek Jeter of the NBA–Oh Im a Dodger fan also

  10. j0esixpack - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    How can you NOT make a Kobe comparison when one is all about the money and one is all about championships

    That being said, the Lakers were going to be bad whether Kobe took all their money or not – and seeing as he personally is the only reason people are filling those seats, one can assert he’s worth it

    But imagine how much better the lakers could be if he took only $10 mil a season

  11. jimhudson78666 - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Timmy has always been a class act and the Spursare the model pro franchise! But nothing lasts forever and with the young bucks in the West making so many teams good the Spurs won’t any more Championships, its OKC and the Clips time? ( if those hateful and senile moron owners are gone!)

    One last time, cue Queen singing: “We are the Champions!” Go Spurs Go! Its been a great ride!

  12. ravenswhat - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Top 10 all time regardless of position.

  13. rohlo - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    asimonetti88 – Jun 23, 2014 at 5:14 PM
    Duncan isn’t from SoCal… he’s from the Virgin Islands… unless you’re referring to Kawhi, who is from the IE?


    i never said duncan was from socal!!! it says kawhi in the post!

  14. billtetley53 - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Aboogy is a lakers fan. Hes just itching to defend kobe not taking the paycut heshould have.
    If youvwant to talk about creaky bodies, kobe is your guy. 2 major surgries, in back to back years.
    The team surrounded Duncan with a well balanced team so he doesnt have to carry the load at his age.

    8 million for Duncan when there are other guys out there srealing $ with their contracts? Youre way off base aboogy.

  15. csbanter - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    The only players on Tim Duncan level as far as being great “team players” since 1980 Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon. That’s it sorry no MJ,Kobe,or Lebron.

  16. ranfan12 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    R.I.P. mark cuban’s 2015 championship hopes

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (3060)
  2. K. Irving (2480)
  3. A. Davis (2088)
  4. K. Bryant (1743)
  5. L. James (1662)
  1. K. Durant (1500)
  2. T. Thompson (1494)
  3. B. Jennings (1375)
  4. A. Aminu (1375)
  5. M. Leonard (1330)