After suffering an early exit in the Western Conference Playoffs, San Antonio Spurs veteran guard Tony Parker will have plenty of time to decide whether he will retire or not after this season. The 35-year-old French point guard has played the final year of the three-year deal he signed with the Spurs in 2015, making him an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming offseason. However, it seems like Parker already has made up his mind.
According to Michael C. Wright of ESPN, Tony Parker revealed his plan to play 20 NBA seasons, meaning he still intends to stay in the league for three more years. Parker definitely knows he’s no longer in his prime. If he is to be re-signed by the Spurs, Parker expressed his willingness to lead San Antonio’s second unit like he did this season.
“We’ll see,” Parker said. “I said already I want to keep playing. I’m happy I don’t have those retirement parties. I want to keep playing, and we’ll see if it’s in San Antonio. Everybody knows I would love to stay here. But free agency is always crazy, so we’ll see.”
Unfortunately, despite his intention to stay and accept a lesser role, it seems like the Spurs are still undecided whether they will bring Tony Parker back next season or not. Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford told ESPN that the team will make their decision on Parker at the “appropriate time.” Parker is also open to the possibility that he could spend the next three years of his NBA career wearing a different jersey.
Parker isn’t the only player who will hit the free agency market this summer. Danny Green and Rudy Gay both can exercise their player options to become an unrestricted free agent. Manu Ginobili, who is still under contract next season, is still undecided whether he will consider retirement or play for another year.
Aside from their incoming free agents, the Spurs’ main priority in the upcoming offseason is Kawhi Leonard. Since suffering an injury, the drama started between Leonard and the Spurs. In the past months, rumors continue to swirl that Leonard will be available on the trading block this summer.
However, the team, led by coach Gregg Popovich, plans to meet Kawhi Leonard soon, hoping to fix their relationship and continue working together for years to come. After resolving Leonard’s situation, the Spurs are expected to turn their attention on their incoming free agents, including Parker. Buford hinted the possibility that the Spurs could re-sign Parker, but they expect him to take less than what he earned this season.