Manu Ginobili is under contract for one more year, at $7 million. The Spurs want him back badly enough that they aren’t letting him play for Argentina in the World Cup this summer as he comes off a stress fracture in his leg.
But what about the year after that?
The Spurs will have Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter and coach Gregg Popovich back under contract, and whether Tim Duncan is back or not depends on how Tim Duncan feels in a year.
Ginobili thinks he might want to be back, he said in an interview with Argentinian publication La Nación (the same interview where he said his national team playing days are over), as translated by J. Gomez at Pounding the Rock.
“I know I’ll play the upcoming season. If I feel like I did this past season, I’ll keep going for sure. If I feel like I did the season before, I don’t know. More than age, what matters the most is my health and the mental aspect. Basketball-wise, I’m in a perfect situation. I’m with a team that takes great care of me, in which I have my role and I’m not asked to do too much. I’m a leader to my teammates. And I feel respected enough to not have to prove myself every day. So if I feel like I did last season, I’ll keep playing.”
I think this is how the Spurs are playing it, too. See what Duncan wants to do, how the season goes, how everyone feels when its over then make a call. When the time comes, with Parker and Leonard under contract it will not be a complete tear-down rebuild (even if they do something like trade Parker it would be for quality assets in return). The Spurs will keep right on being the Spurs, even if they take a step back in talent the foundation will not change.
And if they keep the band together for one more year, it’s likely Ginobili is part of that.