With the deadline for Tim Duncan to give his decision to the Spurs about his $10.3 million player option for next season coming tomorrow, San Antonio Express-News sports columnist Buck Harvey provided us with an interesting bit of speculation this morning. (UPDATE: See sidebar for the more recent report of Duncan opting in, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
Duncan decision coming, and here's an option I'm hearing: Opts out and signs a 2-year deal that both lowers payroll and rewards him.— Buck Harvey (@Buck_SA) June 23, 2014
With Duncan scheduled to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman tomorrow, deadline day, most Spurs fans have at least some worry that the big man would decide to forfeit his chance to repeat as a champion for the first time in his career and follow in the footsteps of David Robinson, who retired in 2003 after winning his second championship.
Duncan has said before that he wants to play until the "wheels come off," and that he'll play as long as he can still contribute. He can certainly do that, as he put up a very solid 16 and 10 line during the 2014 playoffs. Perhaps the best hint that Duncan will return came after the Game Five closeout when he said,
"'I'm honored to be on this team right now because [Kawhi Leonard's] going to be great for years to come, and I'm going to hold on as long as I can."
Will the Spurs be able to re-sign Diaw and Mills?
The Spurs don't have an abundance of cap space, but do they have enough to hold on to two pieces of their championship rotation?
This is just a rumor, from a reliable source, but it's certainly nice to hear that one of the options for Tim is to come back not just for one season, but maybe two. If this turns out to be what happens it won't be the first time Timmy has taken less money than he could get to help the team. Tim would most likely make substantially more money on a new deal as well, but over a longer period of time that would free up some space to help the Spurs retain the services of Boris Diaw and Patty Mills who will both become unrestricted free agents on July 1st.
Boris and Patty were integral to the success of the Spurs last season and they both deserve a pay bump. If Tim signs a two-year $16M deal at $8M per, the Spurs would have around $13M in cap space to sign the two members of the Foreign Legion and fill out the roster. Of course, the Spurs can offer both of them more than any other team, but a couple million in extra space will make it easier to keep the total roster cost down which is certainly something that the Spurs like to do.
If it works out, it seems like it would be great for everyone involved: more money for Tim, more cap space for the Spurs, and Boris and Patty can get the contracts they deserve and stay with a team they both clearly love playing with.
What say you Pounders? How great would it be to get to enjoy a couple more years of Big Fun?