Ginobili says he’s staying with Spurs for 2 years
SAN ANTONIO — Manu Ginobili, who turns 36 this month, says he will stay on at the San Antonio Spurs for the next two seasons.
The Argentine tweeted Wednesday that he is staying with the team he has helped win three NBA titles and nearly a fourth last month.
“Thrilled to announce that as I always hoped, I’m gonna stay with the @Spurs for two more years,” he wrote.
Ginobili battled injuries during the season and said he would think about retirement after the playoffs. But he helped the Spurs come within 28 seconds of the championship before falling to the Miami Heat in seven games, and his return ensures the longtime Big Three that includes Tim Duncan and Tony Parker will be in place next season.
Details of the contract agreement weren’t available, but Ginobili is likely to take a pay cut from the $14.1 million he made last season as the Spurs’ highest-paid player. Duncan did the same thing last summer, going from $21.2 million to $9.6 million.
Teams can reach agreements with free agents, but contracts can’t be signed before July 10.
The playoffs were rough in spots for Ginobili, raising more questions about whether the Spurs would be willing to bring him back considering his age and the heavy wear on his legs from international competition with Argentina. He won Olympic gold at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.
Ginobili’s regular-season and playoff scoring averages were the lowest since his rookie season in 2002-03. A couple of games in the NBA Finals were plagued by poor shooting and turnovers, including eight in Game 6 when San Antonio coughed up a five-point lead in the final half-minute.
Still, Ginobili can be a valuable weapon from the 3-point line, where he shoots 37 percent for his career, and as a ball-handler who can get in the lane and score or find an opener shooter. He’s averaged 14.9 points, 4.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 11 seasons.