Manu Ginobili

Spurs Notes: Leonard, Ginobili, Parker, Gasol

A meeting with Kawhi Leonard will be the Spurs’ top priority of the offseason, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN. Head coach Gregg Popovich is expected to lead the session as the team tries to determine whether it can work through a dispute with its top player and forge a long-term relationship.

An MVP candidate last year, Leonard was limited to nine games this season by a lingering quad injury. He was cleared to return by team doctors, but not by his personal physicians in New York, where he made two extended visits during the season. Rumors persisted of disharmony between Leonard and the organization, and they intensified when he opted not to join the team for its playoff series.

“Kawhi, everybody asks questions, but he’s still here,” Danny Green said after last night’s season-ending loss at Golden State. “He’s still locked in. He’s a part of the team until things change.”

This summer’s meeting will go a long way for the Spurs in deciding whether to offer Leonard a supermax extension valued at about $219MM over five years. Complicating matters, Wright notes, are divorce proceedings between Peter Holt, the team’s former chairman and CEO, and Juliana Hawn Holt, the current chairman and co-CEO, which could affect any major financial decisions for the organization.

Wright offers more news about possible changes coming in San Antonio:

  • Manu Ginobili is signed for $2.5MM next season, but isn’t sure if he’ll return. Ginobili, who will turn 41 in July, plans to make the decision sometime this summer. “As I’ve done it the last two or three seasons, I’ll sit back, relax and, after two or three months, see if I feel retired or not,” he said. “I like to let it season a little bit, to see how I feel. Don’t expect news until July, probably. I just don’t know. I let a month, two months go by and see how I feel. I’m not the type of guy who makes decisions on the fly, and when you are upset, hurt or whatever.”
  • Tony Parker, who turns 36 next month, is headed toward free agency after 17 years with the Spurs. He has expressed a desire to return to the team, but will probably have to accept a significant pay cut after making $15.4MM this season. “I said already I want to keep playing,” Parker stated. “I’m happy I don’t have those retirement parties. I want to keep playing, and we’ll see if it’s in San Antonio. Everybody knows I would love to stay here. But free agency is always crazy, so we’ll see.”
  • Pau Gasol, 37, expressed a desire to play another three to four seasons. He is under contract for $16.8MM next year, with a non-guaranteed $16MM in 2019/20.
  • Green [$10MM for next season], Rudy Gay [$8.8MM] and Joffrey Lauvergne [$1.7MM] all have a June 29 deadline to exercise their player options. “This organization is a big part of me,” Green said, “and I would love to play here again, would love to come back. But things get interesting in free agency.”

Southwest Notes: Ginobili, Spurs, Pelicans, Nowitzki

While the Warriors would have liked to close out the Spurs on Sunday afternoon and start preparing for the second round, head coach Steve Kerr admitted that it’s hard not to enjoy watching Manu Ginobili continue to have success at age 40. As Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com details, Kerr said after Sunday’s game that he’d like to see Ginobili continue his playing career.

“I think he should come back two more years,” Kerr said. “I smiled when he made that corner three right in front of us at the end of the game. It was just so typical Manu: [40] years old and 16 points, and hits the clinching three. He’s Manu. That’s what he does. I know he’s old because he was my teammate, and I’m old as dirt. So, if I played with him, he must be old.”

While Ginobili will have a decision to make this offseason on whether or not to keep playing, for now he can look ahead to Game 5 — the Spurs will aim to pull out another win over the Dubs on Tuesday to further extend the series.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Spurs‘ offseason hasn’t started yet, but it figures to be an eventful one, as Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News writes. In addition to figuring out whether Ginobili will be back, the team will also have to address the futures of longtime San Antonio mainstays Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard. Parker will be an unrestricted free agent, while Leonard’s long-term future with the franchise has been called into question due to reported tension between his camp and the Spurs.
  • No team has been more impressive so far in the postseason than the Pelicans, prompting Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer to explore how DeMarcus Cousins may or may not fit into the equation in New Orleans next season and beyond. Cousins, recovering from an Achilles injury, is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Dirk Nowitzki, who intends to return in 2018/19 for his 21st season with the Mavericks, provided an update over the weekend on his surgically repaired left ankle. Nowitzki will have the stitches removed today as his rehab progresses. Dwain Price of Mavs.com has the details.

Southwest Notes: Parsons, Holiday, Mbah a Moute, Ginobili

Chandler Parsons has given the Grizzlies a few reasons for optimism, writes Michael Wallace of NBA.com. Parsons continued to battle knee problems in the second season of a four-year, $94MM contract, but he appeared in 36 games, two more than a year ago, and may have reached 50 if the team hadn’t fallen out of contention so quickly, Wallace adds.

Former coach David Fizdale switched Parsons to power forward and reduced his playing time early in the season, but that changed when J.B. Bickerstaff took over, and Parsons was able to spread the floor and use his playmaking skills. He also shot a career-best .421 from 3-point range.

“I had moments this year where I felt good and felt like myself, and I had moments where the soreness and stiffness were just too much,” Parsons said. “I want to play. I want to be healthy. And I’m doing everything in my power to get there.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • In taking a 2-0 series lead over Portland, the Pelicans are getting the production they were counting on from Jrue Holiday when they re-signed him to a five-year, $126MM deal last summer, notes Mark Schwarz of ESPN. Holiday had 33 points and nine assists Tuesday as New Orleans won its second straight road game. “I may be a bit biased, but if you can tell me a better two-way player in the league right now, I’m willing to listen,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “But what we ask him to do and the things we ask him to do offensively, he was just great tonight.”
  • Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute is healing quickly after dislocating his shoulder late in the season, relays Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Mbah a Moute hinted that he might be able to play against Minnesota if the first-round series lasts long enough. “I wouldn’t say ‘no.’ But I also want to be smart and do the right thing,” he said. “It’s feeling better. Continue to do the rehab, get the strength back and see what happens.”
  • LeBron James isn’t the only NBA player being targeted by billboards, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. An “Uno Mas Manu” billboard has been posted near downtown San Antonio, urging Manu Ginobili to return for another season. “I don’t know why, ‘One more?’” he joked. “What’s up? I was thinking about signing a five-year deal, and now they are throwing me down. Very disappointing.” Ginobili, 41, recently said he will take some time this offseason before deciding whether to play a 17th season.

Southwest Notes: Ginobili, Irving, Holiday, D’Antoni

Manu Ginobili has been a member of the Spurs for his entire 16-year NBA career and it’s far from a guarantee that he returns for a 17th season. As Ginobili prepares for the postseason, his teammates and coaches are enjoying his presence and contributions while they still can, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News writes in a lengthy feature.

The 40-year-old played in 65 games off the bench for the Spurs this season, averaging a modest 8.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG. However, his impact in his native Argentina and as a member of the Spurs in San Antonio has resonated for nearly two decades. Head coach Gregg Popovich is among those who tries to honor Ginobili’s career as it winds down.

“€œI try to touch him before every game and remember what he’€™s meant to us over the years and how significant a factor he has been in our success,” Popovich said. “I think I€’m enjoying him more than ever because I feel like I€’m about to lose him.”

Check out more Southwest Division notes below:

  • When Kyrie Irving demanded a trade last offseason, the Spurs were one of four teams that Irving was reportedly interested in. However, in retrospect, not making a trade for the All-Star point guard was a good move, Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News opines. While Irving’s talent made a trade enticing, his recent season-ending knee surgery paired with Kawhi Leonard‘s lost season would have made for a disappointing year, Finger writes.
  • During a recent appearance on the Hard in the Paint podcast, Pelicans’ point guard Jrue Holiday spoke glowingly of teammate Rajon Rondo, stating that he belongs in the Hall of Fame and has a future after his playing days, Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype writes. “€œIn my opinion, yes,” Holiday said of Rondo deserving to be inducted. “He is a coach and a GM. He’d be very similar to Doc Rivers.”
  • The Rockets finished the season with the best record in the Western Conference and are poised to put up a strong fight for a championship. However, even if the Rockets fail to win a title, head coach Mike D’Antoni said their season can still be cherished, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk writes.

Southwest Notes: Green/Paul, Aldridge, Ginobili, Parsons

Late in Sunday night’s win over Minnesota, Gerald Green of the Rockets shoved Timberwolves big man Gorgui Dieng into the stands in retaliation for Dieng pushing Chris Paul to the floor after being fouled

Green was ejected, causing Paul to speak out on his behalf, telling Rockets‘ beat writer Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he would take care of any fine levied against Green by the league. Said Green, “I’m just trying to be there for my teammate. I saw something happen and I reacted. I paid the consequences for it. I learned my lesson, got ejected, try not to do that again, and hopefully we’re going to move forward from this.”

Despite Green’s contrition, the league announced today that it has fined the Rockets swingman $25K for the incident, with no word yet on whether or not Paul with stay true to his word and foot the bill for Green coming to his defense.

There’s more coming out of the Southwest Division:

  • With all of the uncertainty surrounding the injury to and possible return of superstar Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge has quietly saved the Spurs‘ season, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “I’m a leader, so I have to do what we need – playing defense, blocking shots, scoring,” Aldridge said. “It all comes with it. But my teammates have been great. Everyone has gotten better in this stretch. It’s been good for us.”
  • In another article for the San Antonio Express-News, McDonald reports that Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr believes that Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili, 40, still has another year or so left in the tank. “I could see Manu playing when he is like 58, honestly,” Kerr said before Monday’s game. “He loves the game. He keeps himself in such great shape. I thought he was going to retire last year, so the fact he came back this year surprised me. (But) it wouldn’t shock me at all if Manu came back next year.”
  • It has been a frustrating tenure so far in Memphis for Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons, but as reported by Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com, Parsons believes he can get back to form next season barring any additional injury setbacks. “Obviously, there were high expectations coming here and I haven’t come close to meeting them. But in my head, it’s all health. I know if I’m healthy, I can play with the best of them. And I’ve shown flashes of that this year when I’ve played minutes.”

Southwest Notes: Paul, Leonard, Evans, Pelicans

Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni provided an update on injured point guard Chris Paul, who has missed all but one game this season due to a bruised left knee. At this stage, D’Antoni feels his prized offseason addition is closer than he has been to a return (via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon).

“He’s probably rounding second and pretty close to third,” D’Antoni said of Paul’s estimated return. Once Paul is cleared for basketball activities, D’Antoni said that Paul needs “five days or so” of practice to get his endurance up to par. The Rockets have been fine without Paul, boasting an 8-3 record, tied for first with the defending champion Warriors.

“I just hope we can get him back quickly so we can start building on what we really have,” the Rockets coach added.

Paul averaged 18.1 PPG and 9.2 APG in 61 games for the Clippers last season. The nine-time All-Star joined Houston in an offseason trade, creating a dynamic one-two punch with last year’s Most Valuable Player runner-up, James Harden.

Check out other news in the Southwest Division:

Manu Ginobili Signs Two-Year Deal With Spurs

Manu Ginobili will return to the Spurs, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. The veteran guard has signed a two-year, fully guaranteed deal worth $5MM.

The 40-year-old was a second-round pick by San Antonio way back in 1999. He came to the NBA in 2002 and has been an important part of the Spurs’ rotation ever since. He is a two-time All-Star and has been part of four NBA championship teams.

The Argentinian star has remained productive through his late 30s, averaging 7.5 points in 69 games last season and helping the Spurs reach the Western Conference finals.

The signing brings San Antonio to 17 players, three short of the maximum for training camp. The Spurs have 14 players with guaranteed money and one on a two-way contract.

Players Who Can Veto Trades In 2017/18

No-trade clauses are rare in the NBA, but one such provision has been the subject of much discussion so far in 2017, as Carmelo Anthony made use of his NTC to block the Knicks from sending him to an undesirable destination. For much of the offseason, Anthony was focused on joining the Rockets, but he eventually agreed to a deal that sent him to Oklahoma City.

Anthony is one of just two NBA players whose contract includes an explicit no-trade clause, but there are still several players each year who have the ability to veto trades. A player who re-signs with his previous team on a one-year contract – or a two-year deal with an option year – is given no-trade protection, and so is a player who signs an offer sheet and has that offer matched by his previous team. Players who accept qualifying offers after their rookie deals expire can also block deals.

Taking into account that list of criteria, here are the players who must give their consent if their teams want to trade them during the 2017/18 league year:

No-trade clauses

Players whose offer sheets were matched

  • Otto Porter (Wizards)
    • Note: Even with his consent, Porter cannot be traded to the Nets during the 2017/18 league year.

Players accepting qualifying offers

Players re-signing for one year (or two years including an option)

In addition to the players listed above who can veto trades through the 2017/18 league year, there’s another small handful of players who can’t be dealt under any circumstance until at least next July. The following players signed a Designated Veteran Extension this season, which precludes them from being traded for a full calendar year:

Information from Basketball Insiders and ESPN was used in the creation of this post.

Southwest Notes: Ginobili, Rockets, Noel

Manu Ginobili said the decision to return to the Spurs for his 16th season was not an easy one to make, Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation relays.

“[Coach Gregg Popovich] told me that he wanted me to continue and he needed me on the team,” Ginobili said.“If he did not want me, it would have been easier for me.”

The future Hall of Famer added that he didn’t want to walk away while he could still play at a high level.

“I accepted because it is a great honor to be with such a franchise, at 40 years old, feeling important, with people who tell me that they love me and that I am still important to the team,” Ginobili wrote. “Everything I had in mind if I retired, I can postpone for another time. On the other hand, if I retired and took a year (off), I would not be able to compete again at 41.”

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Multiple sources tell Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link) that Daryl Morey and the Rockets‘ management team is not attempting to put together a group to buy the franchise. Leslie Alexander announced earlier this week that he is selling the team after 24 years of ownership.
  • Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News speculates that Nerlens Noel could end up signing a one-year deal with the Mavericks. Noel has yet to reach an agreement with the franchise and the scribe believes the center is searching for leverage, but Dallas’ ability to match any offer limits his negotiation power.
  • Brandon Paul, who signed a two-year deal with the Spurs this summer, is thrilled for the chance to play for the franchise, as he tells Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Paul played in Russia, Spain, and Turkey in addition to the G-League before landing his first NBA contract.

Spurs, Manu Ginobili Finalizing Agreement

The Spurs are finalizing the details on a new agreement with longtime guard Manu Ginobili, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Ginobili had considered the possibility of retirement, but appears poised to return for at least one more season. It will be his 16th in the NBA.Manu Ginobili vertical

Ginobili, who will turn 40 later this month, has been a Spur since the 2002/03 season, and continued to play a key role for the team last year. Although he set new career lows in several categories, including PPG (7.5), FG% (.390), and MPG (18.7), the Argentinian made 39.2% of his three-point attempts, and the Spurs had slightly better offensive and defensive numbers when he was on the court.

The Spurs hold Ginobili’s Bird rights, so the team won’t be limited in its ability to offer him a fair salary. While the former second-round pick won’t necessarily be in line for a big payday at this stage in his career based on his 2016/17 production, San Antonio has less than $100MM in team salary on its books for 2017/18, and has already used its full mid-level exception.

As such, the Spurs may be willing to overpay Ginobili a little to reward him for his performance with the franchise over the years, since doing so wouldn’t really limit the team’s spending flexibility. However, the club will also have to account for a new contract for Pau Gasol, who is expected to re-sign at some point.

Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks) and Tony Parker (Spurs) are the only players who have been on the same team’s NBA roster longer than Ginobili. Nowitzki has been a Maverick since 1998, while Parker joined the Spurs in 2001. Ginobili was technically drafted in 1999, but didn’t sign with the Spurs until 2002.

Ginobili is currently the second-oldest player in the NBA behind Vince Carter, who turned 40 earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.