Manu’s new deal: Pros and Cons

Now that it is official that the San Antonio Spurs and Manu Ginobili have agreed on a $38.9 million contract extension for three years, Spurs nation could not be any more excited.

The break down is as follows:
2010-2011 — $11, 854, 584.00  
2011-2012 — $12, 981, 038.00
2012-2013 — $14, 107, 492.00

But what will be the impact on the Spurs in retaining Ginobili? Is this a good or bad thing? Here are some pros and cons for you to look at now that the deal is official. Oh and I am not good at math so forgive me.

Pros:

  • Ginobili retires a Spur as he should.
  • No other elite Western Conference team picks him up. Imagine him in a Dallas Mavericks or Phoenix Suns uniform? The horror!
  • The reported deal is short term at three years.
  • Spurs will be retaining a player with more overall value to the team than any other player brought in through free-agency.
  • His final contract year might be a good bargaining piece to get a younger player.
  • The “Big Three” stay intact at least through the 2010-2011 season.
  • The “worst” season, financially, will just be the 2010-2011 season.
  • The Spurs will not face a fan backlash if Ginobili walked away to another team.

Cons:

  • $38.9 million is a lot for a player at this stage of his career. Do the Spurs risk the chance he gets injured again?
  • The Spurs will be at $54,135,160.00 in guaranteed contracts next season, not including Ginobili’s deal.  Add the $11.8 million due to Manu next season, that pushes the Spurs to $65, 989, 744.00 in guaranteed contracts. With the salary-cap lowering to what is being speculated to be around $50.4-$53.6 million dollars. That puts the Spurs way over the cap.
  • If you take the lower speculated figure of $50.4 million, that puts the Spurs at $15, 589, 744.00 million over the cap.
  • The NBA luxury tax is speculated to be at $61.2 million dollars. After the math is done the Spurs will be paying $15.5 million for being over the cap and an additional $9.4 million in luxury taxes. Spurs will be $4.7 million over the luxury-tax and an NBA team pays dollar-for-dollar over the luxury-tax line.
  • Grand total for the Spurs will be paying $24.9 million for being over the salary-cap and into the luxury-tax.
  • This will hamper the Spurs in retaining key role players such as Matt Bonner, or offer Tiago Splitter more than just the mid-level exception not to mention attracting a quality free-agent this summer to play for the team next season.
  • It will be doubtful the Spurs can keep soon-to-be free-agents Roger Mason, Ian Mahinmi, Keith Bogans, Garrett Temple, Alzono Gee and Matt Bonner.
  • What about Malik Hairston and Alonzo Gee? The Spurs have the team option whether or not to pick up their last year of their contract.
  • Richard Jefferson will STILL be making more than Ginobili next season at $15 million. Where is the justice?

Of course there are so many outside factors affecting the Spurs including a possible NBA lock-out, the “Bird rights” option, but for now, do the cons outweigh the pros? 

If we take a step back, keeping the “Big Three” together is expensive. Is it worth going over the salary and luxury-tax threshold on a 32 year-old player, who has been injury prone, and plays in the summer for his home country of Argentina? Will the Spurs fans pay the increased ticket prices to see the Spurs in action?

Again, with the NBA salary-cap speculated to go lower, this will be a deterrent for the Spurs to spend in free-agency because of the dollar-for-dollar penalty.

Or is this a situation of “who cares about the money” and Ginobili deserves every penny for what he has brought to the team, including helping win three of four NBA titles for the city of San Antonio?

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