Next season, whenever it starts, is going to see Tim Duncan in the middle for the San Antonio Spurs. As it should, it will look and feel wrong when the day comes he doesn’t fill that role.
Duncan could opt out of his deal and force the Spurs to renegotiate with him, but he’s not going to do that , according to Jeff McDonald at the Express-News Spurs blog.
As such, Duncan will play out the final year of his existing deal, during which he is scheduled to earn $21.2 million, and remains on track to become a free agent after the 2011-12 campaign.
Duncan is 35 and while he will get another contract after this one if he wants it, the money will be nowhere near this number. Looks like he wants to take the last big payday — he’s earned it for what he has brought the Spurs — then decide what is next.
The Spurs are not offering an extension to him… at least not yet. They want to have his new deal be under the new Collective Bargaining Rules, whatever they may be. The owners will like those rules better, whatever they are.
Duncan can become a free agent but it is hard to see him leaving San Antonio. Remember last time he renegotiated a deal he took less than max money so the Spurs could bring in other guys. Frankly, I don’t want to see Duncan in any other uniform. It would just feel wrong.