“Duncan, whose contract last season called for him to be paid $21.2 million, will get $9.65 million next season and $10.4 million in 2013-14. The final season of the three-year deal, at Duncan’s option, is for an even $10 million.”
So that’s more or less what people assumed his contract would be worth. There had been people, namely ESPN’s Ric Bucher, who said he could picture a scenario where Duncan’s contract would be one dollar higher than Kevin Garnett’s because of the two players’ rivalry. Well, not quite unless Duncan’s savings on the lack of state taxes in Texas tips the scale in Duncan’s favor. So Duncan will earn $30 million in the last three years of his contract and in doing so saves the Spurs a few million bucks in salary cap and luxury tax money.
Duncan’s slightly below market value contract gives the Spurs even more roster flexibility. It means they don’t owe anyone guaranteed money past the 2013/2014 season, which is incredibly important as they work to either completely rebuild or retool around Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard. However, Parker’s contract is only guaranteed for the next two season, which would make him a very tradeable asset, again if the Spurs chose to go the complete rebuild route.
I’m glad Duncan’s going to be around for at least another two seasons, I wasn’t ready to see him go. I’m glad he did a predictably-Duncan thing and got paid while still giving the Spurs some financial wiggle room moving forward. That’s priceless leadership from the Big Fundamental.