According to Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express News, he is hearing San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan could possibly opt out of his current deal that would pay him $10.4 million for the 2014-2015 NBA season, and instead sign a lengthier contract with the Spurs, that helps them both open cap room this coming offseason, and that could extend Duncan’s playing career.
Duncan decision coming, and here’s an option I’m hearing: Opts out and signs a 2-year deal that both lowers payroll and rewards him.
— Buck Harvey (@Buck_SA) June 23, 2014
Duncan, 38, just finished an NBA Finals run for his 5th championship, where he averaged 15.4 points and 10.0 rebounds in 33 minutes per game, during the Finals. Per Basketball-Reference, both in the regular season and playoffs, Dunan totaled 10.6 win shares this past season. One win share can sometimes be viewed as a million dollars. So by this metric, Duncan is currently worth close to $9-11 million dollars.
If Duncan were to opt out as the report from Harvey indicates, he could look at taking less this season (maybe $7-9 million per year), which would help the team with more cap flexibility, as two of the Spurs’ main factors in their title run – Boris Diaw and Patty Mills – are about to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.
By Basketball-Reference’s win share metrics, both Diaw and Mills could be worth close to $6-8 million dollars for the production they produced the previous season. Aron Baynes could also become a restricted free agent if the Spurs extend his $1.1 million dollar offer, and Matt Bonner too will become an unrestricted free agent.
Duncan has until Tuesday (06/24/2014) to notify the Spurs of his decision to either opt into his contract, or opt out. After Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Duncan had a comment about 2014 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who is just 22 years old.
“I’m honored to be on this team right now because he’s going to be great for years to come,” said Duncan that Sunday night, “and I’m going to hold on as long as I can.”
Physically, Duncan can still produce at a high level in the postseason, as Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is arguably the best at managing minutes during the regular season. With a player like Leonard on the rise and likely to have more responsibility on offense next season, Duncan might be seeing he’s got more than just one year left, possibly two.
(Financial statistics via BasketballInsiders.com)