Loyalty Exists! Manu Ginobili Signs Three-Year Contract Extension With Spurs

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Loyalty Exists! Manu Ginobili Signs Three-Year Contract Extension With Spurs

Manu Ginobili may be getting older, but he's still a beloved player in San Antonio and a key part of any future runs to the championship. That probably explains why the Spurs and Ginobili have agreed on a three-year contract extension that will keep Ginobili in the fold through the 2012/13 season.

The extension is for a total of $38.8 million, according to CBS Sportsline's Ken Berger. Ginobili will make $11.8 million in 2010/11, $12.9 million in 2011/12 and $14.1 million in 2012/13. He passed a physical Thursday afternoon, which clears the last remaining hurdle to finalizing the extension. 

In case you're wondering, yes, that means Ginobili will be making $14.1 million as a 35-year old. Clearly, the Spurs are giving Ginobili that much money for reasons that go beyond basketball. He's a beloved player for Spurs fans and has great standing with San Antonio's Hispanic population. It's also possible the Spurs are throwing Ginobili a bit of a bone, since he was probably underpaid for his previous contract.

Otherwise ... from a pure basketball perspective, this has the potential to be problematic for the Spurs. Ginobili has played very well recently, but he's been showing his age more and more every season. In addition, even if Ginobili ages relatively gracefully, the Spurs, long the front-runners in terms of fiscal responsibility, now have a bloated player payroll. They're paying nearly $60 million dollars to just four players - Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson and now Ginobili - next year, so they'll almost certainly be paying the luxury tax again. Is it all worth it for a team that's clearly getting old? Probably not.

Manu is still great, don't get me wrong. He's been underrated for years and still is even at his advanced age. But at age 32, he, along with the rest of the Spurs, has clearly reached his peak. It might have been time for the Spurs to move on. 

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