In an off season that has already brought us the success of a Spurs draftee, some heated discussions and even a few drug poker references, it's obvious that we have a lot to talk about. So I've decided to give us something else that we can discuss with each other. It's just something that's been on my mind and I wanted to hear your opinions on it.
You may say that this is too early to be asking this but there's been a lot of recent discussion that centered upon the Spurs not having the cap space to make any possible run at a championship. There have also been discussions regarding whether the Spurs should put all their efforts into winning as soon as possible or if they should build towards a couple years from now. Either way, these all center around Tim Duncan.
Currently Tim has the biggest contract on the team at over $18 mil. As much as this is, this is a pay cut from his salary last season, which was over $22 mil. The interesting part comes when one considers what his contract looks like in it's final year. Tim is scheduled to make over $21 million in the final year of his contract, however, there is an early termination option attached. This means that after playing this next year Tim can decide to opt out of his contract and become a free agent.
The Spurs interestingly signed Manu to a 3 year extension which means that he is guaranteed for another year after Tim's contract expires. This calls to question the Spurs thinking. They kept Manu because they felt like he could still compete for a ring, but without TIm? Surely not. If Tim decides to sign a deal that carries him through 2013 his and Manu's contract would end at the same time.
I think it's obvious that if Tim re-signs it will not be for a max deal, but the question is when does he re-sign. Does he stay with his current contract that would pay him over $21 million? (I think most people would take that but Tim's not most people so you never know) Or does he opt out and resign for a lower deal in 2012, giving the team more cap room to work with? It's not a matter of should he do it (i think we all would love if he did) but would he be willing to? He's already taken a cut before, would he be willing to do it again?