Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, Staff / San Antonio Express-News
The San Antonio Spurs are on the verge of re-signing two veterans to the team for the upcoming 2017-18 season. After being knocked out of the playoff race by the eventual champions the Golden State Warriors in the conference finals many thought that two of the team’s veterans would no longer be in San Antonio. But Spurs lifer Manu Ginobili and former Laker Pau Gasol are close to agreeing to terms that will see them play in the Silver & Black for at least one more season.
It was widely expected that the much loved Ginobili would retire at season’s end after 15 long seasons with the organisation. Despite losing a step or two in the past couple of seasons Ginobili has proven his worth through his experience and ability to come through in the big moments. None more so than his game winning block on James Harden in the Conference Semis this past season:
Gasol on the other hand declined his player option, opening the door to a free agency move but has since decided to stay with the Spurs on a reportedly smaller average salary. In his first season with the Spurs in 2016-17 he set career lows for games started (36) and points per game with an average 12.4 but set a career high percentage from three with 53.8%. Like Ginobili, Gasol has lost much of the value that he once had but can still give plenty to the Spurs line-up alongside LaMarcus Aldridge at the 5 spot. With the signing of Rudy Gay, it is expected that the team will look to play more small ball that could decrease Gasol’s minutes.
The details of both deals are yet to be released but it is expected that Ginobili will sign a one-year deal with Gasol potentially offered a two-year deal front ended to give the Spurs more cap flexibility in the 2018 off-season.