Tim Duncan has saved San Antonio money in the past by accepting a contract for less than his market value. On Thursday, he did it again. The Spurs' big man will sign a two-year, $10.4 million deal, reports NBA.com's David Aldridge.
Duncan was a third team All-NBA selection last season and second team All-Defense. He averaged 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks in just 29 minutes a game last season, showing he's still one of the most versatile big men out there. He could have signed a max contract but instead chose to take less so that the Spurs could pursue LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Spurs agreed to terms with the former Trail Blazers power forward on a max deal earlier this month. With the salary cap hitting $70 million, they would have been able to pay Duncan around $7.6 million on the first year of his contract and a total of $18 million over two years. Instead, Duncan is signing for less than the most the Spurs could pay while signing Aldridge and retaining Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili.
The numbers would be tight but that means the Spurs could likely fit Manu Ginobili's contract under the cap, giving them the room exception to sign someone else. If they are still a little short, they could sign someone else for $2.5 million using their cap space to bolster their depleted depth and then add Ginobili with the room exception. They could also pay David West more than the minimum after he sacrificed $11 million to sign with them.
Duncan has made an estimated $234 million in salary over his career but has reportedly been taken $25 million by a financial adviser and has gone through a divorce. The money he's leaving on the table is not going to change his quality of life but not a lot of players would agree to do what Duncan has done.
The Spurs have been able to convince their stars to sacrifice for the good of the team and while that's not exactly fair, it has been a key reason why they have been relevant for the past two decades. With Duncan's new discount, they could continue to be in the playoff picture for the foreseeable future.