Tim Duncan Strongly Leaning Toward Retiring

WEDNESDAY, 1:28pm: The Spurs tentatively expect to hear from Duncan regarding his retirement decision by this weekend, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).

MONDAY, 12:34pm: While one longtime Western Conference star changes teams, another may be close to calling it a career. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, despite picking up his player option for the 2016/17, Spurs big man Tim Duncan is “leaning strongly” toward retiring.

[RELATED: Manu Ginobili to play next season]

Duncan hasn’t finalized that decision or made any sort of announcement at this point. However, Wojnarowski reports that the longtime Spur has left team officials, friends, and close associates with the “strong belief” that he’ll make a retirement announcement sometime in the near future.

The future Hall-of-Famer saw his production decline this past season, as he averaged a career-low 8.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 blocks in 25.2 minutes per contest over 61 regular-season appearances. He also shot just 48.8% from the floor, his lowest mark in 10 years.

Duncan’s player option had been worth $5,643,750, but he reportedly earned $750K in incentives based on the Spurs’ win total, meaning his 2016/17 salary is now in the $6.4MM range. As Wojnarowski notes, San Antonio may still pay that money to Duncan even if he decides to retire — the club could waive him and stretch his salary over the next three seasons.

With Duncan potentially headed for retirement, and Kevin Durant off to the Bay Area, the Spurs are “lasered in” on signing Pau Gasol, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link). Gasol was one of the club’s top free agent targets headed into the offseason, and would be a nice fit in San Antonio if the club has to replace Duncan’s production and role.

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14 thoughts on “Tim Duncan Strongly Leaning Toward Retiring

  1. Jeremy

    I was never a spurs fan but I respected the heck out of Duncan and co. Duncan will be miss if he retire. But I gotta say growing up I did enjoy watching Duncan and Roberson play together

  2. Z.....

    I really hope he doesnt. He can easily still play another couple of years, and he still led the league in defensive box plus minus. I’ll hold off on saying anything else until an announcement is actually made

    • Z.....

      I guess, but anything can happen. What if Steph, and KD both go down with ankle and foot issues respectively? Things are wide open all of the sudden

  3. KnicksCavsFan

    I hope Duncan returns. They have a great shot at a title this year. A line-up of Parker, Greene, Leonard, Aldridge and Gasol with Duncan and others coming off the bench, they have the makings of a great team.

    I know Dunc is a different kind of guy and maybe he would be too shy to go thru a Kobe-esque goodbye tour but he most certainly is deserving of one.

  4. Ravens_Last_Place

    Legend. Far better than David Robinson ever was. I bet he would have hung around longer if Durant went to San Antonio. Duncan is an all time great.

    • KnicksCavsFan

      In what way is Duncan WAY better than Robinson?

      Robinson vs Duncan
      21 vs 19 ppg
      10.6 to 10.8 rbpg
      2.5 to 3.0 apg
      3 to 2.2 blocks pg
      73% to 69% FT%
      .518 to .506 FG%
      1.4 to 0.7 steals per game
      and they each took the same # of shots per game 14.4 to 14.6

      You can exhaust superlatives about how great Duncan is but The Admiral was just as good.

      • Garett

        How about Duncan was a much better winner and made his teammates better. The admiral is a hall of famer. Duncan with his intangibles is a top 10 all time type.

        • KnicksCavsFan

          Duncan was a winner because he played with other HOF’s during his career including a HOF coach. Robinson’s supporting class was no where near as good his first 6-7 seasons. Duncan had the benefit of playing with a seasoned vet in Robinson and two young future HOF studs like Parker and (possibly) Ginobli for most of his career.

      • Z.....

        They were both amazing. Duncan is arguably the best pick and roll defender of all time at that position. Hard to go by Duncan’s counting stats as he gave up touches over the last significant portion of his career , as the team continued to evolve and change their offense.

        • KnicksCavsFan

          I can’t attest to Robinson’s pick and roll defense but you also have to remember that he gave up touches during Duncan’s first 3 seasons. He went from being the man to the guy standing next to the man.

          All I’m saying is that his wording “far better than Robinson ever was” is a bit hard to justify. I understand the usefulness of analytics but PPG coupled with FG%, Rebound per game, blocks per game and steals per game speak for itself and are valid use in comparisons.

        • KnicksCavsFan

          And there’s a huge difference between cumulative counting stats (over a career or season) versus a per game stat.

  5. HotSauce

    I’ve always hated the Spurs, but if he does retire I think this really shows the class that Tim Duncan has. He quietly accepted his smaller role while helping the Spurs win a franchise-best 67 games. Meanwhile, Kobe went on a season-long, asinine farewell tour for an awful team.

    Duncan conceded to the younger guys on his roster, while Kobe still chucked up 17 shots a game to detriment of developing young talent on his team.

    Duncan didn’t say anything about retirement, being true to who he is. Kobe went on a love-fest tour even though he disliked and was disliked by most of the league.

    This just shows you the difference between the Duncan/Spurs and Kobe/Lakers.

    That’s why I have so much respect for Tim Duncan.

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