On Parker’s extension


And just like that, the dishes are done, man.

Word broke today that Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs have come to an agreement on a 4-year, reportedly $50 million contract extension.

Unlike Manu Ginobili of a year ago, Parker wasn’t coming into camp off successive summers of surgery and rest and rehabilitation after significant injuries and with questions of his ability to return to form. He was coming off one of his most productive offseasons — a summer away from his French team afforded him the opportunity to work on his body and game while managing plenty of rest.

Parker came into camp looking as fit as ever and with the gear he had lost last year due to nagging injuries. And with an impending CBA and enough evidence to suggest Parker was once again “Tony Parker,” the Spurs looked to waste no time.

$50 million over 4-years for Parker’s services seems quite the bargain in today’s NBA. And with his willingness to accept the offer so early on, forgoing next year’s free-agency in the process, this has to be a best-case scenario for everyone not named Steven Heumann (Parker’s agent). This is a vote of confidence on Parker’s behalf as much as it is him playing it conservative or even settling.

The Big Three will be afforded the rare opportunity to finish what they started, Parker will avoid the uncertainty of a new CBA (one in which salaries could be significantly slashed) and he’s given the confidence to know the franchise that gave him his start will continue to be his home.

The Spurs continue to be one of the shrewdest franchises going, once again finding a way to make sense out of cents. After plenty of criticism over the refinancing of Jefferson, there seems to be some method to the madness.

When the Spurs traded for and committed to the $29.4 million left on Jefferson’s contract last summer, they knew that it would make them a taxpayer for the next two seasons. The Spurs, nor anyone else, could have expected or believed a $15.2 million player-option would be opted out of.

Whether by dumb luck or some not-so-subtle prodding, Jefferson did decide to opt-out of his $15.2 million option. He was looking to secure as much guaranteed money as possible before the current CBA expired, and he was able to do just that — to the tune of nearly $40 million.

RJ made out like a bandit, but the Spurs look to be in position to be more than all right.

What that opt out and extension did for the Spurs was two fold: they kept a talented player they believed could help in the program; and they managed to put themselves into a position to save $16-17 million, should they remain below the luxury-tax line.

With a lockout looming, it remains to be seen how many games will be played or dollars will be paid come next year. And with that prospect in mind, the Spurs jumped on an opportunity for guaranteed savings against the possibility of future cost.

And who knows, the Spurs just may find themselves in a better, more advantageous financial situation once the CBA’s renegotiated, or even two years from now. … Should Duncan retire in 2012, they may only find themselves being a taxpayer for the 2011-12 season and no further. Two years of taxpayer status, once Jefferson was aboard, is what they expected all along.

In the end, this extension is a win-win. Parker’s given long-term security and the Spurs have given themselves the opportunity to keep a quality product on the floor for many years to come.

Score one for the fans.

Make that, a win-win-win.

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Michael is the founder and editor of ProjectSpurs.com. He has a long history in journalism, sports and online media. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others.