The “prevailing thought” around the league has been that Tim Duncan will retire when his contract expires after the season, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, but Gregg Popovich isn’t so sure. The coach/executive acknowledges that Duncan is liable to walk away from the game at any time, regardless of contract status, but Popovich tells Amick that he doesn’t believe Duncan will do so just yet, given his still-proficient level of play. Nonetheless, Popovich isn’t making promises about his own longevity, and while he confirmed to Amick that the extension he signed this past summer was for five years, the 66-year-old thinks he’ll retire before that time is through. Here’s more from around the league:
- The push for Nick Collison‘s extension with the Thunder came from the team’s side, according to Royce Young of ESPN.com, writing for Daily Thunder. The length of the deal for the Mike Higgins client, which runs one season past the expiration of Kevin Durant‘s contract, makes it clear that the extension is in part an enticement for Durant, who likes Collison, to stay, Young believes. It’s also a signal that the club is on board with paying the luxury tax next season, as Young explains.
- Tyrus Thomas has returned to the D-League affiliate of the Grizzlies after the expiration of his 10-day contract with the franchise’s NBA club, the D-League team announced (on Twitter).
- Free agent Greg Oden reached a plea deal with prosecutors stemming from an August incident, as court documents show, according to Michael Anthony Adams of USA Today. The former No. 1 overall pick pleaded guilty to a felony battery charge and three other charges were dismissed as part of the deal, Adams writes. Oden avoided jail time in sentencing, as Adams’ report also indicates.