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.
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.