San Antonio fans will be happy to hear reports that the Spurs expect both their star power forward and head coach to return next season.
Duncan has a player option on the next year of his contract leading many to speculate about whether he’ll walk away from the NBA after the Spurs’ most recent NBA championship.
At 38, no one would begrudge Duncan should he choose to retire now. With 5 rings, 3 Finals MVP’s and 2 regular season MVP’s, Duncan has had one of the most illustrious careers in the NBA and has been the on court leader for the Spurs’ now historic dynasty.
Should he choose to leave there’s no doubt the Spurs would feel his absence. We saw time and time again these play-offs that when the Spurs offence isn’t clicking, tossing the ball to Tim Duncan in the post is a sure fire way to get it firing again.
As one of the Spurs ‘Big Three’, there’s no doubt Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili’s future’s will play a part in Duncan’s decision. Both go into the final year of their contract next year meaning that should Duncan opt in next year all three will be unrestricted agents next summer, probably spelling the end of their era together.
The man himself had this to say about his future: “If I feel like I’m effective. If I feel like I can contribute, I’ll continue to play”. There’s no doubt that Duncan definitely is still effective but whether he feels this way or not is what we don’t know.
As for Gregg Popovich, the decision seems more straightforward. Popovich has said that he’d like to continue coaching and even if Duncan does retire it seems unlikely that Popovich would walk away from the Spurs’ while Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are still around.
It makes sense for the Spurs to assume that they’ll have all of the main men back next year and we’ll know soon enough whether this is the case or not as Stein also reported that Duncan’s opt in deadline is the 24th of June.