Tony Parker wanted to stay in San Antonio, but the Spurs wouldn’t offer a multi-year deal or guarantee significant playing time, relays Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. Parker hasn’t given up on his goal of playing 20 NBA seasons, but he’ll need three more to get there and it became increasingly clear that wouldn’t happen in San Antonio.
“The Spurs will always be home,” said Parker, who agreed to a two-year, $10MM contract with Charlotte. “San Antonio will always be a big part of my life. At the end, I just felt like the Hornets wanted me more.”
Parker will have a defined role in Charlotte as the primary backup to point guard Kemba Walker. Playing time wouldn’t have been guaranteed with the Spurs, who wanted him to serve primarily in a mentorship role. Parker, who spent 17 years in San Antonio and won four NBA titles, met with longtime teammate Tim Duncan two weeks ago to discuss the decision to leave.
“I never took for granted that what we did was hard,” Parker said. “Me, Manu [Ginobili] and Tim took less money in free agency every time. It’s not easy to have a dynasty. I think some people maybe took it for granted. I don’t think what we did will ever happen again.”
There’s more today from San Antonio:
- The loss of Parker should create more playing time for Derrick White, McDonald writes in a separate story. The former first-round pick can handle either backcourt position, but is being used primarily at point guard during summer league play.
- The Spurs haven’t decided whether to match the Grizzlies’ offer sheet for Kyle Anderson and will probably go right to today’s deadline before making an announcement, McDonald notes in a another piece. Memphis extended a four-year, $37.2MM offer to Anderson on Friday that includes a 15% trade kicker. Anderson, 24, had a career-best season in 2017/18, starting 67 of the 74 games he played and averaging 7.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per night. The Spurs are already near the tax line, and matching Anderson’s deal would move them about $3MM closer on top of his $6.45MM cap hold.
- The decision on Anderson could provide a clue on what the Spurs plan to do with Kawhi Leonard, McDonald tweets. If they plan to keep Leonard and try to fix their strained relationship, the Spurs won’t have significant minutes to offer Anderson. If they expect to trade Leonard before the season starts, there’s no one else on the roster who can fill Anderson’s role on defense.
- The Spurs made a front office move over the weekend, adding former Pistons director of player personnel Adam Glessner, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link).