Manu Ginobili, even in his reduced state, is the focal point of the San Antonio Spurs' offseason. His massive $19.1 million cap hold hamstrings the front office from making adjustments along the margins until his contract situation is straightened out. Should he agree to a cheaper deal, which is expected, San Antonio could enter the free agent fray with boatloads of cap room. And there is perhaps nothing more dangerous than R.C. Buford with deep pockets.
Ginobili has been a mainstay of the organization since the 2002-03 season, when the erratic rookie, vetted with years of experience abroad prior to his NBA debut, first endeared Spurs fans with his unique basketball skill set.
This being said, league sources still speculate Ginobili may be an option for the Houston Rockets this offseason, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.
"League sources speculate guard Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs) could be an option for the Rockets later in free agency."
The Rockets are currently pushing hard for Dwight Howard, whose decision will almost assuredly impact their short and long term plans. Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, signed last offseason, are on the trading block to clear even more space to lure Howard. Thomas Robinson, the fifth pick in the 2012 draft, has already been flipped to the Portland Trail Blazers in another cost-cutting move.
So what does this mean for Ginobili? Well, probably nothing. In this highly unlikely scenario, Ginobili would likely back up James Harden and fulfill a role very similar to his role in San Antonio — a back up "point guard", tasked with facilitating and creating offense against second tier players. Moreover, both sides are reportedly not going to rush any new contract.
But I can't stress this enough: The odds of Houston prying away Ginobili from the Spurs is significantly less than the Charlotte Bobcats winning the NBA championship next year. It's simply not happening.