Manu Ginobili

Spurs Rumors: Popovich, RFAs, Simmons, Ginobili, Young

In the years leading up to the Tokyo Olympics, there had been speculation that the event would be Gregg Popovich‘s swan song. However, even after leading Team USA to gold in Japan following a one-year delay, Popovich is returning to the Spurs‘ sidelines for the 2021/22 season. And several sources who know him told Zach Lowe of ESPN in recent weeks that they wouldn’t even be surprised if Popovich sticks around for ’22/23 too.

With 26 more victories, Popovich would pass Don Nelson for the top spot on the list of the NBA’s all-time winningest coaches. Although the Spurs don’t necessarily project to be a playoff team this season, winning at least 26 games seems like a realistic goal. However, Popovich isn’t “running out the string” just to claim that record, Lowe writes.

While it remains unclear when Popovich will retire, there are some potential heir apparents within the organization, according to Lowe, who says that Will Hardy and Manu Ginobili are the two mentioned most frequently in NBA circles. Becky Hammon would also be in the mix, but Kansas coach Bill Self – previously cited as a possible candidate to succeed Popovich – has “faded” from those conversations, Lowe notes.

Here’s more on the Spurs:

  • The Spurs “sniffed around” restricted free agents like John Collins and Lauri Markkanen this offseason and could be an intriguing suitor for Jaren Jackson Jr. next summer if he and the Grizzlies don’t agree to an extension before then, says Lowe. The Spurs also have the assets to make a run at a player like Ben Simmons and have talked to the Sixers about him, but those discussions haven’t gotten far and it’s unclear whether San Antonio wants to re-engage with Philadelphia, sources tell ESPN.
  • The Spurs have turned down offers of single protected first-round picks for some of their core young players, Lowe reports. Lowe doesn’t name specific players, but Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, and Lonnie Walker are among those who could fit the bill.
  • Popovich suggested this week that Ginobili’s new role with the Spurs will be even more wide-ranging than initially reported, as Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News writes. “He is going to help (general manager) Brian (Wright) with management,” Popovich said of Ginobili. “He is going to help me with coaching. He is going to help the players with development. He is probably going to go scout some people. I think he is probably going to figure out a two-week trip to Italy to scout some players. I might go with him. But I am being serious — he is going to do all those things. See what he feels comfortable with. It’s just great to have him in the program for all kinds of reasons. But mainly because we love the guy. He is Manu Ginobili, so who wouldn’t want to have him around?”
  • Thaddeus Young wasn’t sure after he was traded to San Antonio whether the team intended to keep him and still doesn’t sound positive that he’ll spent the whole year with the Spurs, but he plans to be a mentor to the club’s young players as he long as he’s with the team (Twitter links via Orsborn). I am going to show up each and every day and make sure I am working, and make sure I am bringing the guys along and getting them better as well,” Young said. A previous report suggested Phoenix is among the contending teams with trade interest in the veteran forward.

Spurs Hire Manu Ginobili As Special Advisor

Within a press release announcing more than a dozen additions and promotions within their basketball operations department, the Spurs confirmed today that they’ve hired former star player Manu Ginobili as a special advisor to basketball operations.

Ginobili’s role with the franchise was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who hears that the four-time NBA champion will work closely with Spurs players, focusing on their development both on and off the court.

According to Wojnarowski, the Spurs have been persistent in trying to get Ginobili to accept a position with the organization since he retired as a player in 2018. Head coach Gregg Popovich, CEO R.C. Buford, and general manager Brian Wright believe Ginobili can help pass on the Spurs’ culture to the next generation of players and staffers, Woj adds.

The 44-year-old spent 16 seasons with the Spurs, earning two All-NBA nods and a Sixth Man of the Year award in addition to his four championships with the club. He also won an Olympic gold medal with Argentina in 2004.

Texas Notes: Nowitzki, Butler, Rockets, Ginobili

An injury continues to disrupt what may be Dirk Nowitzki‘s final NBA season, writes Dwain Price of The Mavericks star said he is still “weeks” away from returning to action because of a left ankle problem that has bothered him since undergoing surgery in April. He hasn’t been able to participate in a full practice or go through a normal workout.

“We’re taking it super slow obviously now since we’ve had a couple of setbacks since we’ve increased the workload,” Nowitzki said. “So I’m just taking it slow, just started shooting, just started running a bit on the treadmill slow.”

When Nowitzki does return, the Mavs haven’t decided whether he will remain a starter or be moved to the second unit.

There’s more tonight out of Texas:

  • Despite being mentioned as a possible candidate in the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes, the Mavericks have no interest in trying to acquire the star forward from the Timberwolves, tweets Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. He lists the Rockets, Sixers and Heat as the top candidates, in that order, and states that the Lakers may make a strong bid as well.
  • No team has gotten off to a more disappointing start than the Rockets, who went from the league’s best record last year to one of the worst over the first two weeks of this season. Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post examines what has gone wrong in Houston and wonders whether the team was too focused on saving money this offseason. Bontemps agrees that it made financial sense to let Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute leave in free agency, especially considering the luxury tax implications of keeping them, but he questions why the Rockets didn’t use any of their mid-level exception and why they dealt Ryan Anderson for Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss, who may both struggle to get playing time.
  • Manu Ginobili retired over the summer, but he still has one more momentous night left in San Antonio. The Spurs announced on their website that Ginobili’s number 20 will be retired in a March 28 ceremony. Ginobili played 16 seasons and was part of four championship teams. He will be the ninth San Antonio player to have his number retired.

Spurs Waive Manu Ginobili

As expected, the Spurs have waived retired guard Manu Ginobili, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The move is a formality in order to reach the regular season roster limit.

Although Ginobili announced his retirement in August, he had one final year on his contract with San Antonio and technically remained a member of the team until today. Like they did with Tim Duncan when he retired, the Spurs released Ginobili and will pay him for one final season following his decision to call it a career. The longtime Spur will count for $2.5MM against the team’s cap in 2018/19.

San Antonio now has 15 players on standard contracts and one more on a two-way deal, so the team is all set to start the season. It will be interesting to see if the Spurs use that second two-way contract slot in order to add some point guard depth in the coming days.

You can check out our full story on Ginobili’s retirement from August right here.

Manu Ginobili Not Planning On Coaching

Manu Ginobili recently attended Gregg Popovich‘s annual retreat for Spurs coaches, but the recently retired guard has no immediate plans to enter the coaching ranks, as Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News details.

[RELATED: Manu Ginobili announces retirement]

Relaying a column that Ginobili wrote for Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Orsborn notes that the 41-year-old enjoyed the opportunity to “learn and see basketball from the other side” during Popovich’s coaches retreat. However, Ginobili says he has “no intention” of becoming a coach at this point, opting instead to happily settle into his retirement.

Although Ginobili isn’t about to accept a coaching role with the Spurs or any other team, he has been in attendance at training camp this week, Orsborn points out. The longtime San Antonio guard wrote in his La Nacion column that he believes the Spurs – who added one of the league’s best scorers in DeMar DeRozan – will be better offensively than they were last season, but will be tested on defense.

In a previous column for La Nacion, Ginobili said that he’d be open to a role with the Spurs, albeit perhaps not in an official capacity: “My children have already started classes and while I’m in town I’ll be close to the team and the franchise. Maybe I can’t help (anymore) by taking a (charge) or (with a steal) or something, but I’ll try to add in what I can. … If I can help from the outside, I will do it with pleasure.”

Spurs Notes: DeRozan, Murray, Aldridge, Ginobili

Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan says he’s more motivated than he’s ever been in his career, as he told in a TV interview. DeRozan was highly agitated when the Raptors traded him away to the Spurs and while he claims he’s over the disappointment, he feels he has something to prove while moving to the Western Conference. “I treated my whole summer workout with that motivation, that chip on my shoulder. It’s making me more anxious to get out there and play,” he said.

In other news around the Spurs:

  • Coach Gregg Popovich said during the team’s annual media day on Monday that Dejounte Murray is up for the challenge of becoming the team’s next standout point guard, Madalyn Mendoza of the San Antonio Express News writes. “He really wants to be good, he really wants to be to the team what Tony (Parker) was to the team,” Popovich said. “I’m confident he’ll do that as time goes on.” Murray’s ability to push the ball will force the tempo and challenge his teammates, Popovich adds. “Other players will have to run like they’ve never run before because he’s going to go,” Popovich said. “And if they want to ball they’ll have to run with him.”
  • LaMarcus Aldridge is glad the Kawhi Leonard saga is over and doesn’t want to rehash it, Michael Bolin of 247Sports relays. “It’s obviously gone now. If you are gonna ask questions about that whole thing, I’m not going to answer it,” the veteran power forward said. “We are happy to turn the page.”
  • Popovich took recently retired guard Manu Ginobili on his annual coaches’ retreat last week, ESPN’s Michael C. Wright tweets. Ginobili revealed earlier this month that Popovich tried to talk him into playing for another season.

Lack Of Desire Convinced Ginobili To Retire

Manu Ginobili admitted that his decision to retire was painstaking and that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich tried to convince him to play another year. “I am very sure about the decision, it’s still awkward,” Ginobili said during a press conference that was relayed by “But my finger shaked a lot before hitting that enter (button). It wasn’t an easy decision.”

Popovich was hoping that he could change Ginobili’s mind but realized quickly that his longtime sixth man wasn’t going to budge.

“He briefly tried to convince me. He saw me very convinced,” Ginobili said. “I guess he saw it right away. He respected my decision, of course, and we had a great talk.”

Ginobili announced his retirement on August 27th. The deciding factor was the lack of desire to go through the rigors of an 82-game regular season one more time.

“I couldn’t see my body doing through that kind of grind again,” he said. “When I came back here and came to workout a little bit to lift or bike or whatever, I saw Bryn (Forbes), I saw Dejounte (Murray) and some of the guys working out and preparing for the season and I was so far from that. That’s when I said, ‘For sure, this is it.’ There was a little bit of that door opened, but it closed pretty quick.”

Ginobili, 41, was the 57th overall pick in the 1999 draft. The Argentinian played overseas for three more seasons, then joined the Spurs in 2002, spending the next 16 years with the franchise.

Over the course of his NBA career, Ginobili appeared in 1,057 regular season contests, averaging 13.3 PPG, 3.8 APG, and 3.5 RPG. He also played in 218 more postseason contests, winning four championships with the Spurs. A two-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA player, the Argentinian shooting guard was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2008.

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Ginobili, Bluiett, Grizzlies

The third overall pick from the 2018 NBA Draft, Luka Doncic, will not be part of the Slovenian national team for September’s FIBA World Cup qualifiers, per a Sportando report. Instead, he will remain in the United States to prepare for the upcoming NBA season, Doncic confirmed with a tweet.

Doncic, 19, was drafted by the Hawks with the third pick in the draft but was immediately traded to the Mavericks in exchange for the draft rights to Trae Young and a 2019 first-round pick. Given his past success internationally, it was possible that Doncic would have suited up for the Slovenian team before the NBA season started.

With Real Madrid this past season, Doncic racked up several major awards.  He became the youngest player to win the EuroLeague Final Four Most Valuable Player award in addition to being named the EuroLeague MVP and Rising Star.

Check out more Southwest Division notes below:

  • In an in-depth look at the recently retired Manu Ginobili, Gilbert Garcia of the San Antonio Express-News looked at how his presence around the organization made everyone appreciate him. After 16 seasons with the Spurs, the Argentina product announced he will retire instead of pursuing a 17th season.
  • Trevon Bluiett impressed at Summer League, which paved the way for him to ink a two-way contract with the Pelicans. As Scott Kushner of The Advocate writes, Bluiett is excited about the opportunity and is ready to prove himself. “All I know is that it’s a foot in the door,” Bluiett said. “I don’t look at it as, I signed a two-way so I’m good and everything is done. It’s just a foot in the door to get to my ideal goal.”
  • The Grizzlies finalized their basketball operations department, the team announced in a press release.

Manu Ginobili Open To Role With Spurs

Manu Ginobili will soon be officially removed from the Spurs‘ roster after announcing his retirement as a player on Monday. However, he’s not opposed to the idea of sticking with the franchise in some capacity. As Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News relays, Ginobili wrote a Spanish-language column in the Argentine newspaper La Nacion in which he touched on his possible next steps.

“What I made clear to (Gregg Popovich) is that it’s not ‘Ciao, I’m leaving,'” Ginobili wrote. “My children have already started classes and while I’m in town I’ll be close to the team and the franchise. Maybe I can’t help (anymore) by taking a (charge) or (with a steal) or something, but I’ll try to add in what I can. I have a great appreciation for my teammates, for the staff and all the people on the team and I want it to go as well as possible. If I can help from the outside, I will do it with pleasure.”

If Ginobili wants to take on some sort of role with the Spurs, there’s little doubt that the team would welcome him aboard. When Tim Duncan retired in 2016, Popovich indicated that Duncan would stick around the club in an unofficial capacity and would be “coach of whatever he wants to be.” Ginobili could do something similar even if he’s not ready for – or interested in – a formal title within the organization.

Ginobili, who made his retirement announcement official on Monday, technically remains under contract with the Spurs on a $2.5MM contract for 2018/19. Like they did with Duncan in 2016, the Spurs figure to waive Ginobili at some point in the near future, ensuring that he’ll still receive his salary for the coming season.

More On Manu Ginobili’s Retirement

The decision by Spurs guard Manu Ginobili to retire was a very difficult one for him, one of his agents told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News. The announcement was made on Monday. Herb Rudoy indicated there were numerous factors that went into the decision, primarily that it’s “much harder to do it at age 41.” Rudoy also cited family and a desire to travel as other factors in Ginobili’s decision, Orsborn adds.

We have more regarding the retirement of the longtime Spur:

  • Rudoy and fellow agent Luciano Capicchioni praised their client in a statement, which was relayed by Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links): “It has been our great pleasure to represent Manu. He has not only been an outstanding player, he has also been one of the finest men we have known. He understands playing for the collective good of his team and will go down in basketball history as one of the best to ever play the game.”
  • As the franchise did for Tim Duncan, Ginobili will likely have his uniform retired quickly, Jabari Young of the Express News tweets. The No. 20 will not be worn again without permission, Young adds.
  • The 20 defining moments of his career are listed in chronological order by ESPN’s Michael Wright. It begins with Ginobili getting drafted and ends with him being a finalist of the Magic Johnson award this past season.
  • Compliments and congratulations on a memorable career have poured in from players and coaches around the league via social media, Kurt Helin of NBC Sports relays. Helin’s story shares some of those posts.
  • Ginobili finished his Spurs career ranked fifth in franchise history in points (14,043) and rebounds (3,697), fourth in assists (4,001) and first in steals (1,392). Those are some of the numbers and facts that Frank Urbina of HoopsHype shares about the Argentinian.