It’s hard to imagine Manu Ginobili in any uniform other than the San Antonio Spurs’, but after this season he’ll be an unrestricted free agent and have the choice to go wherever he wants.
Ginobili made Sports Illustrated’s list of the top ten 2013 free agents, coming in at number six.
He’s going to be a highly coveted player, because he’s shown that he can still play at an elite level. He had his injury problems last year and that kept him from putting up great numbers, but I would imagine no one is considering Ginobili’s career over. Just a couple months ago in London, he was carrying his Argentinian team through the Olympics. He definitely has more left in the tank.
I can’t imagine Ginobili would want to leave San Antonio. He’s spent his whole career as a Spur and built a relationship with his teammates, coaches and the city. Even putting emotional relationships aside, playing with the Spurs is the best possible scenario for Manu. Coach Popovich has found the perfect way to limit his minutes to keep him fresh throughout a whole season and still get the most out of the aging veteran.
Looking through the rest of SI’s top ten list, next summer is going to be quite an interesting offseason. There are guys like Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Andre Iguodala who just joined new teams but didn’t extend their contracts so they could already be on the move again.
Chris Paul is at the top of the list. He’s only been a Clipper for a year, but if the price isn’t right next summer, one of the best point guards in the game could be finding a new home. James Harden is also on the list. With so many big contracts already in Oklahoma City, will the reigning sixth man of the year need to find a new place to play?
Free agency can be tough, with teams trying to compromise with players on what they think they’re worth. I can’t imagine Manu will give the Spurs too much trouble, but I can’t say the same for the others.