Update Oct. 6, 8:00 am: According to Julian Mozo, the Spurs are “seriously considering” extending Manu Ginobili’s contract this season.
Oct. 5, 4:27 pm: Manu Ginobili is guaranteed $14.11 million this season according to ShamSports.com. Tony Parker follows closely with $12.5 million.
Following this season the 10-year veteran guard, 2007-08 Sixth Man of the Year and three time NBA champion will not be guaranteed a single penny in the open market.
Ginobili will likely receive a ton of interest if the San Antonio Spurs forgo a new contract. But, as Yannis Koutroupis of Hoopsworld notes, the Spurs and Ginobili could dole out a new extension soon, preventing the threat of free agency. The deadline for an agreement June 30. Should the two parties fail to compromise, Ginobili would become an unrestricted free agent.
Don’t be surprised if in typical Spurs’ fashion this season they suddenly announce that they’ve come to an agreement on an extension with Ginobili. His play last year and in the Olympics this summer showed that he clearly has plenty left in the tank, and they have youth on the perimeter now in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green that allows them to reduce his workload to a reasonable rate. The mutual interest from both sides should be enough to avoid pushing off the inevitable until the summer.
Banking on anything other than a new extension does not seem logical. If anything, with thousands of minutes playing basketball at the highest level, Ginobili may retire following this season rather than play with another team. The odds of that happening, he says, are about five percent. That figure may be a tad too high.
But if he is able and playing at an elite level — Ginobili was second in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) among shooting guards who averaged 20+ minutes while playing in 30+ games; he also finished in the top five in true shooting percentage — the Spurs would be wise to re-sign Ginobili.
The Spurs are usually wise. And Ginobili is usually good. I am willing to bet that this will remain a reality next season.