When Manu Ginobili opted out his $2.9 million contracts for the coming NBA season, he sends a message to the San Antonio Spurs and that he has no plans yet of walking away from the sport as rumors are swirling that he wants a more lucrative offer before he considers retirement.
Upon declining his player option, Ginobili becomes an unrestricted free agent, meaning he could sign an offer sheet with any team that wants to snag him, but the Spurs has the right to match any offer to keep him on their roster. And since he is declining his contract for the coming season, Ginobili now has a cap hit of $4.41 million which will be the opening bid for teams which would want to land the 38-year old veteran.
The Spurs has a $70.43 million guaranteed salary next season and the NBA has increased the salary cap for teams next season at $94 million, meaning Ginobili just wants a hefty paycheck for next season with the possibility that it would be his last. However, his production this season makes him unmarketable as he only averaged 9.6 points with 3.1 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game, which is far low from his career average of 14.0 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.7 rebounds.
Ginobili has played limited minutes with the Spurs this season as coach Gregg Popovich has been acquainted with Tim Duncan, Tony Parkers, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and LaMarcus Aldridge as his starting unit. However, whether he comes off the bench or given a starting role, Ginobili always makes his minutes count as he an effective leader on the floor and makes his presence felt on both ends of the floor. His performance has been effective together with Duncan and Parkers as they led the Spurs to four NBA Championship titles.
The Spurs is one of the teams in the NBA that is clever enough to have their way of getting players and working their way within the salary cap. This is evident with the team’s general manager R.C. Buford was named Executive of the Year in 2015-16.
Although he will be part of the free agency market on July 1, Ginobili is still leaning towards re-signing with the Spurs as he wants to retire with the team that picked him as the 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. In his tenure with the Spurs, he was also named a two-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA Third Team and the 2008 NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
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