After almost two months of speculation, Manu Ginobili will reportedly return to the San Antonio Spurs.
At the end of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, Manu Ginobili received a warm standing ovation from the San Antonio Spurs fans. They didn’t know if that was his last time in a Spurs uniform, so a send-off was given to this fan-favorite.
Since this game, Ginobili’s status for the 2017-18 NBA season hasn’t been known. He never publicly came out to say if he was leaning toward retirement or playing another season. However, it seems there’s an update to the situation.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Ginobili is set to return for the 2017-18 season. He and the Spurs are “finalizing details” to bring him back for a 16th campaign in the Black and Silver.
Manu Ginobili and the Spurs are finalizing details of his imminent return for a 16th NBA season, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 18, 2017
The salary will be something to watch for, as the Spurs haven’t crossed the $99.093 salary cap, but also never officially announced Joffrey Lauvergne’s money or re-signed Pau Gasol. Ginobili notably made $14 million in the 2016-17 season, one year after taking in just $2.8 million. One would think the number will be lower than $14 million, although that’s just speculation.
Ginobili will enter his 16th season at age 40 (he turns this on July 28). Most recently, he put up career-lows across the board, in points (7.5), assists (2.3, which tied his rookie year), shooting percentage (39 percent), and minutes per game (18.7). It came in a reduced role for the Argentinian guard, however, as he took a back seat for players like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Jonathon Simmons.
As for Ginobili’s 2017-18 role, it should be similar. He’ll be a veteran bench presence and spell at the two-guard spot, providing spot-up shooting and as the occasional distributor.
Ginobili is likely back for another run with the Spurs, as they’ll target a sixth NBA championship. How will he fit in next season?