NBA Free Agency: Manu Ginobili returning to San Antonio Spurs

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 22: Manu Ginobili
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 22: Manu Ginobili /

Apparently, he’s not done playing ball. San Antonio Spurs sixth man Manu Ginobili is reportedly negotiating a deal to return to San Antonio for a 16th year.

While many of us were applauding the fantastic 15-year NBA career of San Antonio Spurs sixth man Manu Ginobili during Game 4 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals, he didn’t exactly say that he was calling it a career. Apparently, he still wants to play for the Spurs in 2017-18.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “Manu Ginobili and the Spurs are finalizing details of his imminent return for a 16th NBA season.” Ginobili has played all 15 of his NBA seasons in San Antonio since the 2002-03 NBA season.

Though he has only made two All-Star appearances in his career, Ginobili is a certain first-ballot Basketball Hall of Fame when he does call it a career. He is a four-time NBA Champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist with the Argentinian National Team and a two-time All-NBA player.

While Tim Duncan was the superstar player in San Antonio for the Spurs for nearly 20 years, the Spurs don’t win four more NBA Championships without Ginobili’s contribution. No player in the modern era had embraced the sixth man role like Ginobili did for head coach Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. His sacrifices on the hardwood made him a multi-time champion and a basketball icon.

Few international players’ careers are as impactful as Ginobili’s has been for the Spurs. In 15 seasons, he has averaged 13.6 points, 3.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds primarily coming off the bench. Having him back for another season is great for the Spurs’ quest to compete for another title.

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San Antonio will need a veteran presence out on the wing to back up superstar small forward Kawhi Leonard. Jonathon Simmons has left town to sign with the Orlando Magic in free agency. While the Spurs added Rudy Gay in free agency, he is coming off a torn Achilles’ and may not be back until mid-season.