ESPN's Marc Stein reported on June 26 the five-time NBA champions San Antonio Spurs are confident they can re-sign both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili at lower salaries so they can lock up restricted free agent small forward Kawhi Leonard and unrestricted free agent power forward LaMarcus Aldrdige.
The San Antonio Spurs are confident they can re-sign both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili at reduced salaries.
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ESPN's Marc Stein reported on the development on June 26, saying this opens up the possibility of the Spurs re-signing restricted free agent small forward Kawhi Leonard and unrestricted free agent power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
Should Aldridge decide not to ink a new contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, Stein says the Spurs are widely believed to be his top choice.
A league source told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard earlier last week Aldridge is "99.9 percent gone" from the Trail Blazers. Another potential destination would be the Los Angeles Lakers, who have moved past the Dallas Mavericks as far as Aldridge's preferences are concerned, per Stein.
Aldridge is a Dallas native who attended high school in that city. When he moved to the collegiate ranks, he attended the University of Texas at Austin which is near San Antonio, per ESPN.
There has also been speculation San Antonio might trade center Tiago Splitter in order to dangle a max deal to Leonard, Alrdige or possibly center Marc Gasol while retaining Duncan and Ginobili. However, the Spurs have shot down the possibility, per Stein.
On the other hand, it is still unclear whether the Spurs will retain Danny Green and/or Marco Belinelli, who were both instrumental in the team's consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2013 and 2014. The Spurs won their fifth championship in the latter year, per Stein.
Several league sources told The San Antonio Express-News' Mike Monroe on June 20 the Spurs will offer the 39-year-old Duncan, an 18-year NBA veteran, a two-year deal that begins at $6 million or $7 million.
For his part, Ginobili has not indicated if he will return in 2015-16. He "seemed iffier than Duncan to come back," per MySanAntonio.com's Jeff McDonald.
Spurs point guard Tony Parker told McDonald on June 17 he believes both Ginobili and Duncan will suit up for one more season:
"I think they're going to play one more year...I'm trying to be positive.
"I've talked to them and told them what I think. Now it's their decision. It's a very personal decision."
McDonald foresees San Antonio offering Leonard, the 2014-15 NBA Kia Defensive Player of the Year, a five-year deal worth $90 million. The Spurs are expected to offer Leonard a max deal toward the end of the offseason, when they have already made other moves to make this possible.
As for Green, McDonald says retaining him will be difficult if a big-name free agent such as Aldridge commits to San Antonio. One thing is for sure, there will be teams interested in prying Green away from the Spurs.
Despite Stein saying the Spurs are inclined to keep Splitter, McDonald says there's no guarantee he will stay because trading him to another team will free up approximately $8.5 million in cap space for the team to sign somebody like Aldridge.
However, McDonald does mention the Spurs are not going to let Splitter go unless they feel they have a good chance of landing a reputable free agent.
Other free agents the Spurs have on tap include Belinelli, Cory Joseph, Aron Baynes, Jeff Ayres, Matt Bonner and Reggie Williams. Their fate will depend largely on what happens to their other teammates, per MySanAntonio.com.
The Spurs selected Serbian center Nikola Milutinov with the 26th overall pick and power forward Cady Lalanne with the 55th overall selection in the 2015 NBA draft on June 25, per their official website.
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