Tony Parker may not exactly be the most appealing name among this year’s free agents, given that he has played 17 NBA seasons and is several years removed from his prime. But all those 17 seasons have been played with one team, the San Antonio Spurs, and now that he’s a free agent, the latest NBA rumors suggest that he might be headed elsewhere for the first time in nearly two decades, with two teams reportedly leading the way.
The report on Parker’s potential free agency destination came from ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, who said on Wednesday’s episode of his Woj Pod podcast that the Charlotte Hornets and Denver Nuggets are considering signing the veteran point guard as a backup.
“Parker’s gonna be an interesting one because they’re trying to figure out in San Antonio what they’re doing,” said Wojnarowski, as quoted by Bleacher Report.
“Can he sit around and wait for that? There is some money—Charlotte’s got some interest in him, think Denver might have a little interest. Denver is looking for a backup point guard so that might be a veteran—minimum guy, but Charlotte has an exception and James Borrego, the new Hornets coach, coached him with the Spurs.”
According to Wojnarowski, the Hornets and Nuggets are just two of the teams that have shown interest in Tony Parker, as there are other, unspecified teams that might want to sign the 36-year-old former NBA All-Star for the 2017-18 season, even if it’s to play a backup role. The Spurs, however, reportedly plan to re-sign him for the 2018-19 season and have him serve as a mentor for the team’s younger players, according to a recent tweet from ESPN‘s Michael C. Wright.
As predicted by Air Alamo, if Tony Parker leaves the San Antonio Spurs, he could still play meaningful minutes for either one of the top two teams rumored to be gunning for his services, especially for Denver, where he is projected as a backup and mentor to incoming third-year man Jamal Murray. As Kemba Walker has long been established as a star in Charlotte, Parker might likely play fewer minutes if he becomes a Hornet, but still enough to play an important role off the bench.
On the other hand, if Parker chooses not to leave the Spurs, Air Alamo wrote that he could be looking at an even more diminished role as an eighth or ninth man — still enough playing time “to remain productive,” but probably even less than in the past season. Parker averaged a career-low 7.7 points, 3.5 assists, and 19.5 minutes per game in the 2017-18 season, as he played in only 55 out of 82 possible games, starting in 21 of them.