Manu Ginobili seems to indicate that if Tim Duncan returns to Spurs, he will too

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Immediately after the Spurs were eliminated from the postseason in seven games by the Clippers, questions arose about the future of the franchise.

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are both unrestricted free agents, and while it would be difficult to see them leaving to play somewhere else under any set of circumstances, retirement remains a real possibility for each.

Somewhat understandably, the two weren’t ready to commit to anything right after a devastating loss that ended their season somewhat unexpectedly. But in the days that followed, Ginobili penned a piece that seemed to indicate he might be ready to hang ’em up, if not for the sense of commitment he feels to Duncan, Gregg Popovich and the rest of the Spurs franchise.

From Manu Giobili at canchallena.com (translated from Spanish to English):

Pop said he wanted us to Tim and me in next season. They are words that make me the most difficult things. The truth is that if the franchise had said they did not want me or it was time to rebuild and wanted a younger team, I would have greatly facilitated the task. You may have done a little hurt because even though one is on the ledge, falling just want to not give you the push. So he had hurt a little but it had facilitated the decision. He went backwards, these words help you in the emotional, in confidence, feeling, but I’m not in a time when I need the job.Bypasses feel that if I want to follow, but if you really define feel like doing and get into all this bustle.

In the team meeting I had a couple of nice conversations with Pop and Tim, because we are the ones who are in this particular situation a little, but what he said Pop has made clear what his idea. Well … Tim chatted with some of the possibilities and it’s like we’re on the same page saying we want to wait a little. We need time, see what happens, how we feel, what our families say. Our body is not the same, though in his case it is not noticeable. But other things start to happen mind. …

I do not feel that San Antonio can feel a blow by the departure of some of us. If I were preparing a total reconstruction … it comes and goes Pop another coach Tim retires, Tony does not play anymore. That would change the situation much. I understand it’s time to change things on the computer, or the appearance of the whole and understandably so. But if Pop continues and Tim can follow, everything is different. Because one would have less commitment to colleagues and everything. I guess we’ll have a little talk with Tim, who seems to be on the same ledge as me. We’ll see where the wind blows.

The translation is a little rough, but there are two things Ginobili seems to make clear.

The first is that he’d be ready to retire of the organization simply told him that it was ready to rebuild, and go in a different direction. The second, and perhaps most important, is that he seems to feel a strong sense of loyalty to his teammates and his head coach, and if they all return — Duncan especially, because Popovich and Tony Parker are still under contract — then Ginobili would be hard-pressed to choose to do otherwise.

Vintage Kobe: Redeem Team recalls him running over Pau Gasol

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If the goal of a trailer is to get you to want to see the movie, then well done Netflix. I’m in.

Netflix released a trailer for its upcoming Redeem Team documentary on the 2008 Olympics, featuring some vintage Kobe Bryant. Just as a quick refresher, in 2008 the USA’s toughest opponent would be a deep Spanish team led by peak Pau Gasol but also with Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, José Calderón, Rudy Fernández, Juan Carlos Navarro and more. This was a legitimately dangerous team and one the USA would face first in group play.

Kobe wanted to set a tone — and did by running through his friend Gasol. (Warning: There is NSFW language in the video clip below.)

“‘First play of the game I’m running through Pau Gasol.’ And we was like, ‘What?’ He said, ‘First play of the game, I know what they’re gonna run.’ And he knew Pau was gonna be the last screen and he said ‘I’m running through him,'” Dwayne Wade said

Spoiler alert: The USA thrashed Spain in group stage play. However, come the Gold Medal game it was a lot tougher for the Americans to beat the Spaniards, with Kobe having to have a big fourth quarter and — what often goes unremembered — a master class from Chris Paul in game management to control the tempo and flow.

I’m all in for the documentary, which drops on Oct. 7 on Netflix.

Spurs’ Keldon Johnson to miss start of training camp with shoulder injury

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Keldon Johnson is poised to have a monster season on a rebuilding Spurs team.

Except he’s going to miss the start of training camp and the team’s preseason games. And could be out longer.

Johnson suffered a “right shoulder posterior dislocation during Spurs open gym” the team announced Saturday. Posterior dislocations are rare (less than 5% of all dislocations) and are usually from a fall on an extended arm. Recovering from the injury depends on many factors but can extend out for months. However, the Spurs said Johnson is expected to be available for the start of the regular season less than a month from now.

Johnson averaged 17 points and 6.1 rebounds a game last season, and is an elite perimeter shooter off the catch-and-shoot (39.8% from 3 overall), who also can put the ball on the floor and finish at the rim. He was the team’s second-leading scorer last season (to Dejounte Murray, who is now in Atlanta).

The Spurs will be cautious with bringing Johnson back. Even in what could be Gregg Popovich’s last season as coach the Spurs are looking more to be part of the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes than push for a playoff spot. Johnson is a quality player who helps San Antonio win games, which both is why they want him back healthy and why they are not going to rush him.

Cavaliers reportedly extend Dean Wade for three years, $18.5 million

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This could be a steal for the Cavaliers — Dean Wade could be the starting three for the Cavaliers by the end of this season and he’s got a genuine upside.

The Cavaliers have extended Wade for three years, $18.5 million, a story where multiple sources were on top of it, including Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Wade’s counting stats aren’t eye-popping — 5.3 points a game and shooting 35.7% from 3 — but he is a quality wing defender who has improved as a floor spacer (sometimes setting picks and popping out). He’s a two-way player who has put in the work and could pass Isaac Okoro on the depth chart this season.

The Cavaliers have four All-Stars who will undoubtedly be starting for them — Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell in the backcourt, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley up front — and the looming question is at the three. Wade has a chance this season to step into that role.

Which makes extending him at a little over $6 million a season a potential steal for the Cavaliers.

 

Warriors GM Myers reiterates he would like to extend Green, Poole, Wiggins

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Andrew Wiggins is entering the final year of his contract and the Warriors want to extend him. Jordan Poole is up for a contract extension and if it isn’t worked out by the start of the season he becomes a restricted free agent next summer. Draymond Green is eligible — and wants — a four years, $138.4 million extension (the max they can give him).

Bob Myers said again this week that he wants to keep all three of those players — all critical parts of the Warriors run to a title last season — but financial reality could intrude upon that dream. Here’s what Myers said Thursday, via Kendra Andrews of ESPN:

“We want all of those guys,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said at a news conference Thursday. “Can we get all of them? I don’t know.

“It depends on what the money ends up being. What the ask is what we can end up doing. We’re not at a point to make those decisions yet. Some of these decisions may be made in the next two weeks, some might be made in the next seven, eight months.”

The Warriors turned heads around the league paying more than $350 million in player salaries and luxury tax last season — and this season they will be in the same ballpark. Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob has said even with the cash cow that is the new Chase Center, this is not a team that can spend $400 million. Some expenses are locked in, such as Stephen Curry and his $215.4 max contract extension. Klay Thompson is at the max for a couple of more years.

Poole is part of the future in Golden State — along with Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and maybe Jonathan Wiseman — and they can’t let him go. Wiggins was the Warriors’ second-best player in the postseason last year. That has led to some speculation Green could be the odd man out — something Myers has denied. Green will make $25.8 million this season but is  expected to opt out of the $27.6 million player option he has next season. It leaves the Warriors and Green with a choice.

Something’s got to give, but the Myers and the Warriors seem ready to kick that financial can down the road until next summer, and for this season get the band back together and chase another ring.

Poole would be the first up (there is an Oct. 17 deadline to extend him). Whatever happens, this will be an undercurrent of a story all season long in the Bay Area.