Tony Parker on Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili: ‘I think they’re both going to play one more year’

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It gets lost after the Spurs lost a hard-fought first-round playoff matchup to the Clippers in seven games, especially when taking in all that’s happened in the NBA since San Antonio was eliminated back on May 2.

But make no mistake — the Spurs were legitimate title contenders.

San Antonio finished the regular season winning 21 of its last 25 games, and its numbers on both ends of the floor during that stretch were better than those of the eventual champion Warriors.

So, despite the less-than-satisfying finish, one could reasonably assume that the Spurs would be every bit as formidable next year, should the team’s key players return to the roster.

From Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News:

Spurs point guard Tony Parker has played all but one of his 14 seasons alongside Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili as part of the team’s Big Three and can’t imagine playing without them.

The youngest member of the championship-winning trio that ranks as the most successful in NBA history, Parker, 33, believes the three will be together at least one more season.

“I think they’re both going to play one more year,” Parker told the Express-News on Wednesday. …

Parker admits his opinion about keeping the trio intact next season is a bit of wishful thinking.

“I’m trying to be positive,” he said with a chuckle after an appearance at his annual basketball camp at George Gervin Academy.

It’s clear that no decision has yet been made, and that Parker is (at least publicly) merely being speculative.

Duncan and Ginobili are both unrestricted free agents this summer, and retirement for each remains a real option. Ginobili most recently seemed to indicate that if Duncan decides to return, then he will, too. If that’s indeed the case, that could be good news for Parker and the rest of the Spurs, considering there’s a buzz around the league that San Antonio expects Duncan to be back.