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San Antonio Spurs: Did Danny Green hint at Manu Ginobili’s return?

By Rob Wolkenbrod
Milwaukee, WI - DECEMBER 5: Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a free throw during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 5, 2016 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Milwaukee, WI - DECEMBER 5: Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a free throw during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 5, 2016 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Now departed from the San Antonio Spurs, Danny Green hinted at one more season from Manu Ginobili.

The book is not out on if Manu Ginobili will return for one more season with the San Antonio Spurs, which would be his 17th. It’s among the final decisions that loom for the Silver and Black in an eventful offseason.

On Tuesday, the now departed Danny Green released his new podcast, Inside the Green Room with Danny Green. He not only provided context on finding out the trade that sent him to the Toronto Raptors, but hinted at Ginobili’s future (h/t MySanAntonio.com)

“With the way he’s been working out, with the way he’s been talking, it seems like we will probably be playing against him this year,” Green said. “I don’t know for sure, (but) he’s under contract and it doesn’t seem like he’s ready to give it up yet.”

Ginobili is indeed under contract for one year, $2.5 million, as part of the contract he signed with the Spurs in July 2017. It kept the option open for a return in 2018-19, and means the two sides do not need to rework a deal. Although, it’s still possible they can change the framework of potentially the final salary for the Argentinian star.

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This is among the first indications of Ginobili’s return for a 17th season, but not from the man himself. It’s a similar situation to the summer of 2017, when the wait on his decision for another season took until the middle of July.

Gregg Popovich briefly addressed Ginobili’s status at the post-trade meet-up with the media, and said he hinted at one more season from the current longest-tenured Spur via text:

“About two weeks ago, I sent him a picture when he was younger and he’s dunking over somebody and his hair is all over, and it was kind of a hint, like, you know, ‘You can keep doing this,’” Popovich said. “He sent me back a picture from my first year as an assistant. I’m not sure what that meant.”

If Ginobili returns, he will join an even younger group of guards with Tony Parker’s departure to the Charlotte Hornets. It’s Dejounte Murray at point guard, DeMar DeRozan at shooting guard, and Bryn Forbes, Lonnie Walker IV and Derrick White among the players that will fill the depth chart.

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In the 2017-18 season, Ginobili posted 8.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists on 43.4 percent shooting in 20 minutes per game. He owns career averages of 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 16 seasons with San Antonio.

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