Manu Ginobili is returning to the Spurs for a 15th season on a one-year, $14 million contract, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports. After the retirement of Tim Duncan, Ginobili will go at least one more year before making a decision on whether to call it quits.
San Antonio had to more than triple their original offer towards Ginobili after Philadelphia threw a much larger one at the veteran guard, per The Vertical. The 76ers want a veteran to help their developing big men and tried to lure Ginobili, but the Spurs weren't going to let him go. However, the additional money being spent may have factored into San Antonio's decision to let Boban Marjanovic walk in free agency.
Ginobili declined a player option on his last contract for the 2016-17 season worth $2.94 million in June to become a free agent. The guard made just $2.814 million last season in the first year of a two-year deal, but with the salary cap rising next season, declining the player option allowed Ginobili to push for extra money to continue his career.
Last season, Ginobili averaged 9.6 points, 3.1 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 58 games coming off the bench for San Antonio. He's no longer the defender or dynamic offensive creator that he was in his prime, but the Argentine guard can still be effective in a smaller role as an efficient low-volume bench scorer. He shot 45 percent from the field and 39 percent from three last season, so that shooting touch hasn't betrayed him yet.
However, Ginobili will be 39 years old at the beginning of next season, and he's got a lot of mileage on those legs between the Spurs' many playoff-filled seasons and his impressive international career representing Argentina. He's still near the finish line, and it'll be interesting to see how he goes out.
San Antonio won't be expecting Ginobili to play a huge role as its phased out key veterans over the years, but coming off the bench he can provide good shooting and experience in the system. His minutes dipped from 22.7 to 19.6 per game last season, and it wouldn't be surprising if they took another sizable tumble as he nears age 40.
Danny Green and Jonathon Simmons could potentially take some of those minutes. The team also drafted 6'5 guard Dejounte Murray out of Washington with the No. 29 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and he could be an intriguing possibility after a solid freshman year with the Huskies.
The Spurs have options, and Ginobili presumably will be ready to fit in however coach Gregg Popovich deems necessary. In a small role, Ginobili should remain a useful veteran part of San Antonio.
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