This free agency is not anything like what LeBron James did with the Cavaliers, having an ESPN special before talking with management about his plans, but it could lead to a delay of an answer from Manu in a not so impossible worst case scenario.
This decision is awaiting both Ginobili and Tim Duncan, who have until June 22nd and June 29th to pick up their player options to play one more year with the San Antonio Spurs.
Manu will be playing for the Argentine National team at the Olympics in Brazil, and will afterwards fully decide if he wants to continue his career in the NBA or call it quits for good.
He has a pending 2.9 million dollar contract on the table that is on a delicate balance between him staying put or the Spurs having a little extra maneuverability. Ginobili has maintained that his decision will be completely independent of what anyone else is doing, so it’s hard to guess which direction he will go in.
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According to the
‘ Jeff McDonald, Ginobili’s contract allows him to not only wait until the deadline to decide, but still gives him an option to leave the game before the season starts if he wishes.
Ginobili also said he would talk to the team and see what their plans are before deciding to see if he would commit to another year. That could mean he wants to know how much or how little he would fit in with the new plans, because the Spurs must improve, even if it means losing some of their key role players.
Tony Parker has already made it know that he has no problem with a different role on the team and is willing to do whatever Gregg Popovich asks of him. That would have to be the same attitude Ginobili takes if he feels a much more reduced role is worth staying another year in the NBA with travel time, wear and tear, and less rest, since he will be in Rio.
This leads us to the point, although it doesn’t seem like his style: his contract option doesn’t limit his decision to that date only, which means he could opt in but still take the rest of the summer to consider if he wants to play, without giving the team or fans any idea if he will come back or not.
It wouldn’t be as dramatic as some of the decisions made by bigger stars in the NBA, but it would certainly feel drawn out for Spurs fans, and the organization would have to take quick action late to shore up whatever forecast based production he would bring.
The only thing we will know sooner than later is if the current player options are picked up or not. The deadline for Manu Ginobili is Wednesday.