JULY 9TH, 12:14pm: Duncan and the Spurs are making progress toward a two-year deal worth $5MM in the first season, with a player option for year two, TNT’s David Aldridge reports (on Twitter).
JULY 2ND, 12:52pm: Tim Duncan will “be on the court next year,” he tells Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News, ostensibly signaling that he will return to the Spurs rather than retire (Twitter links). The Spurs have been operating on the premise that the legendary big man would indeed be back, as Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com made clear in May reports, though the most recent dispatch indicated that Duncan still hadn’t made up his mind.
Duncan is still a free agent, though he said to Monroe that he spoke to Spurs president/coach Gregg Popovich in recent days as the team prepared its pitch to LaMarcus Aldridge. Duncan’s willingness to take a discount will play heavily into San Antonio’s ability to offer Aldridge a max deal, though the Jim Tanner client has long shown a willingness to sacrifice for the betterment of the Spurs, and he seems poised to play for less than the nearly $10.362MM he saw this past season.
Duncan’s longtime teammate Manu Ginobili has yet to announce his decision about retiring or coming back to play, though Tony Parker recently expressed confidence that both Duncan and Ginobili would be back. However, Ginobili’s return seems less of a safe bet than Duncan’s was, as Bucher and Berger’s reports conflicted on whether the Spurs thought the Argentinian swingman would retire.