The San Antonio Spurs received great news on Thursday: Tim Duncan is coming back for a 19th season, according to the San Antonio Express-News’ Mike Monroe.
This is wonderful for basketball fans everywhere, who’ll get one more season to see one of the very best basketball players ever, and if history is any indication, he won’t be a slouch out there either. Even though Duncan has every right to demand every penny the Spurs could pay him, he’ll presumably take far less than he’s worth to allow the Spurs to sign all the other players they need. And they’ll need that help, because they’ve already had a monster offseason.
On just the first day of free agency, the Spurs got agreements on two young free agents in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, keeping in place the core of the team as it stares down a post-Big Three future. And their trade of Tiago Splitter freed up the necessary cap space to sign the biggest realistic free agent target on the market in LaMarcus Aldridge, who they appear to have a very good chance of landing. Duncan attended the Spurs’ recruiting meeting with Aldridge, which he certainly wouldn’t have done if he was on the way out. After news of his involvement got out, it was only a matter of time before it was officially announced.
Exactly how much of a deal he gives San Antonio on his upcoming contract remains to be seen.
Even though Duncan is often referred to as a power forward, he does everything a team needs a center to do, so pairing him with Aldridge shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, it would create one of the deadliest high/low post combinations in the NBA, and a stinging counterpoint to the small-ball trend that’s sweeping the NBA. Aldridge isn’t a Spur yet, and he’d have compelling reasons to join other teams, but if he was picking teams based purely on their likelihood of winning a championship, it will be damn near impossible to not choose a Duncan-led Spurs team.
Timmy is 39 and will turn 40 late next season, but it’s still too early to say if this will definitely be his final season. The odds of his return dwindle every offseason, but for at least one more year, basketball fans will get more opportunities to see the Big Fundamental go to work.
(Via Mike Monroe)