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Tim Duncan announces he'll return for 19th NBA season

The Spurs' legend has decided to postpone retirement.

Future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan will stick around for at least one more season, he told the San Antonio Express News' Mike Monroe.

He will sign a two-year deal starting at $5 million the first year with a player option the second, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge. That's much less than his likely market value, but it was needed to help the Spurs sign LaMarcus Aldridge.

The biggest question for Duncan the last two season has been whether he will retire or not, but as long as he's averaging a double-double in the playoffs, why would he? Duncan scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the first-round exit against the Clippers and perhaps the disappointment of losing motivated Duncan to another season of suiting up in gray and black.

As he has his entire career, Duncan sacrificed to help the Spurs have more cap space. Based on his play alone, Duncan could still be worth the maximum contract. Instead, Duncan took a pay cut from the $10.3 million he made last season, which was already below his market value. Acting quickly also helps the Spurs because it removes Duncan's $15.5 million cap hold from San Antonio's sheet and replaces it with his new salary. That gave San Antonio more cap space to fit LaMarcus Aldridge in.

Whenever Duncan does finally retire, the question isn't whether he's a Hall of Famer, but whether he's one of the five greatest players of all time. With five championships and 19 seasons of dominant play as he led the Spurs to become one of sports' greatest franchises, there's little Duncan hasn't accomplished. If he earned one last ring before his career's finally up, he'd definitely have a case right up there with Michael Jordan's.

But right now, the only thing to worry about is the immediate future. After a down year in 2011, Duncan bounced back right to his normal averages and made the All-Star Game in 2013 and 2015. Going back with the Spurs was a no-brainer, even if they were not in the middle of reloading. There was no chance Duncan was going to sign anywhere else.

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