Back in May, when he was just weeks from becoming an unrestricted free agent, Tim Duncan told Johnny Ludden of Yahoo! Sports that he "wasn't going anywhere" in free agency, adding that he was a "Spur for life." While Duncan joked that he was reducing his leverage by making such a public statement, his comments came as no surprise.
Now, just over four months later, Manu Ginobili is borrowing a page from Duncan's playbook. The veteran guard is entering the final year of his contract, and was asked about his situation yesterday at the Spurs' media day. Like Duncan, Ginobili probably didn't do his agent any favors with his response.
"I don’t care," Ginobili said, according to Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News. "If it’s for a lot of money, a huge amount of money, I don’t care. I’m fine with what I’ve earned in my career. That is not a point of emphasis this year. I just want to play well and help my team make it as far as last year…. If I’m going to play next year, it’s highly likely it’s going to be here. So I really don’t care (about this being a contract season)."
Duncan, who made over $21MM in 2011/12, took a significant pay cut with his new contract, and will earn under $10MM this season, keeping the Spurs under the tax threshold. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if Ginobili worked out a similar deal with San Antonio next summer. The 35-year-old will make over $14MM in 2012/13, but could accept a seven-digit annual salary next July, if he feels as if he has some more years left in the tank.