Tim Duncan is expected to return to the San Antonio Spurs for a 19th season, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Duncan certainly proved last season that he has something left in the tank, so this should come as no surprise.
The Spurs are awaiting official decisions from Duncan and Manu Ginobili, but San Antonio is optimistic it can bring back both players and still have the necessary money to go after LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency.
Aldridge is currently expected to leave the Portland Trail Blazers (Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said Aldridge still hasn’t made up his mind), and the Spurs are widely viewed as the favorite to sign the veteran power forward. However, it’ll require some cooperation from Duncan and Ginobili in terms of signing cheap contracts, and a trade of Tiago Splitter may be needed as well.
Stein said the Spurs actually rebuffed trade interest from other teams for Splitter, and perhaps Duncan and Ginobili will re-sign for cheap enough that Splitter can be retained. That would require some serious sacrifice and feels almost impossible at this point, but you never know.
Like Splitter, Danny Green‘s future in San Antonio is in question. Green is set for a hefty raise, and there will be plenty of interest around the league. It’s tough to see Green sticking around if Aldridge is signed, but it may be a possibility if Splitter is dealt.