San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker wants to stay but is open to other teams
By Rob Wolkenbrod
Tony Parker wants to return to the San Antonio Spurs but it’s unknown if they will bring him back.
Tony Parker is the San Antonio Spurs’ only player guaranteed for unrestricted free agency. Rudy Gay and Danny Green can, as well, but only if they decline their respective player options in late June.
Parker said in 2017 that he wants to play three more seasons, preferably with the Spurs. However, the feeling must be mutual, as he averaged a career-low 7.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 19.5 minutes per game in Year 17.
If San Antonio chooses not to bring Parker back, that might not deter him from seeking employment elsewhere. He told French publication, RMC Sports, that despite his hope to stay in the Alamo City, he is open to another franchise (h/t News4SanAntonio.com):
“It is not yet sure that I’ll stay with the Spurs. I am open to all proposals, I would like to have my entire career in San Antonio.
The sport is a business and we will have to make choices. I had 17 years with the Spurs, I would always be nostalgic but this is not the end of the world if I change my club. I figure two to three years more, if I go somewhere else, I’m 50-50. I do not see myself outside basketball yet I want to stay three more years to do the 20 seasons.”
It would be strange to fathom Parker in another NBA team’s uniform. With how enigmatic free agency has proven to be in recent years, however, there’s every reason to believe it’s a possible scenario.
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If Parker left, where would he go? If it’s down to contenders, a veteran-backup role with the Golden State Warriors would be interesting and a head-turner. Something similar can be done with the Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers or Utah Jazz.
San Antonio still seems to be one of the best options, though, as at least for potential playoff teams. Parker can continue to work behind Dejounte Murray and help him become the point guard of the future, after showing flashes of upside in the 2017-18 season.
Frankly, to not see the Spurs and Parker work something out would be a surprise, especially since they kept Manu Ginobili into his 40’s. Will the front office let the Frenchman play for three years for them? Might it be a year-to-year basis? The same goes for salary, as Parker made over $15 million this season.
Next: 2018 NBA Mock Draft: SAS edition
Should the Spurs bring Parker back for one last season? If not, where is his best landing spot?