Jun 15, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) speaks during a press conference with his children Sydney (left) and Draven (right) after game five of the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
After nearly blowing up the roster a year ago in defeat, the San Antonio Spurs now must figure out what to do in victory. So who is in or out for 2014-2015?
Everything begins and ends with what head coach Gregg Popovich will do. With a fifth championship and his place in the Hall of Fame secure, it’s merely a question of the desire to continue competing for Pop. Latest reports say he plans to do just that. Granted, minds can change but for the time being the San Antonio Spurs still have their coach.
The much more likely loss they will feel in 2014 is ageless superstar Tim Duncan. At 38 he has a fifth ring with the Spurs and is about to become a free agent. Nobody would hold it against him if Duncan chose to go out on top. Like Popovich he is a slam dunk Hall of Famer and has nothing left to prove.
At age 32 it wasn’t the best statistical season for Tony Parker but there is no reason to think the All-Star point guard is in danger of falling off a cliff. The San Antonio Spurs fully plan to keep him around as their leader, especially if Duncan plans to retire. Could Parker decide to hang it up after 12 years and four titles? Yes. Will he? Time will tell.
While he’s been in the NBA for fewer seasons than Parker, Manu Ginobili is four years older at age 36. A fourth championship puts him in a similar position to Duncan. Having accomplished everything possible both as a pro and internationally, Ginobili has every built in excuse to retire, especially as his minutes and points per game keep dipping.
It will go down as the move that completely changed the landscape of the 2014 Finals. When Gregg Popovich inserted Boris Diaw into the starting lineup, it sent the San Antonio Spurs over the top. A pending free agent, Diaw has made himself a lot of money and may want to explore that opportunity. However, his lack of success prior to joining the Spurs will likely compel him to re-sign with them.
In terms of minutes and averages, there really isn’t much to shake a stick at with reserve point guard Patty Mills but it’s impossible to deny his impact on the Finals for San Antonio. His performances of 14 and 17 points off the bench in the last two games were key igniters for the Spurs runaways. He may seek to use that to boost his free agent stock but with Parker getting older, Mills could start to see more action down the road if he stays put.