Duncan holds a player option to return for next season…
San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker has revealed his belief that team-mate Tim Duncan will return next season to help defend their title.
The Spurs won their fifth championship in 15 years this past season after defeating the Miami Heat 4-1 in the NBA Finals, with Duncan playing a starring role throughout the regular season and playoffs.
However, having now turned 38, there had been speculation that the veteran would call time on his illustrious career while on top, but that isn’t something Parker believes he will consider given that he is still producing on the court.
“It will come to an end, but I don’t think next year,” Parker told reporters.
“I think everybody’s gonna come back.”
The Frenchman added that he thinks Manu Ginobili will also return to help himself and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard defend their title, while Spurs owner Peter Holt agreed with his assessment and feels as though Duncan still has plenty left to offer.
Duncan holds a player option to return next season for $10.3m and has previously stated that he would continue to play if he is still effective. Having averaged 15.1 points and 9.7 rebounds during the regular season, with improved numbers during the post-season, it would appear that the numbers back a decision to play on.
In addition, coach Gregg Popovich has had the luxury of resting his big man given the depth on the Spurs roster, with Duncan averaging 29.2 minutes per game this past year which has enabled him to continue to play at a high level.
Ginobili insists that since joining the franchise, there hasn’t been a single year where he didn’t believe that they could win a championship, and he believes that whatever Duncan decides to do, the Spurs will continue to compete.