In most cases, NBA stars are retired by the time they are 40, though there have been many notable examples through the years of players sticking around in the league past that age. Earlier this month, Dirk Nowitzki, who turned 40 in June, re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks to keep him with the team for a 21st straight season. Another soon-to-be 21-year-veteran, Vince Carter, recently signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks, and he’ll be 42-years-old in January. Likewise, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili turned 41 on Saturday, and reports suggest he’ll be back for a 17th NBA season with the team he’s played for since his rookie year.
According to San Antonio Express-News NBA beat writer Mike Finger, there’s a good chance Ginobili will be back with the Spurs for the 2018-19 season, as the two main requisites for extending his NBA career remain checked — he’s still happy to play in the league, and the Spurs still want him to return. Finger noted that Ginobili is likely to make a social media announcement in the coming days regarding his plans for the coming season, an added that it will be shocking if Ginobili’s plans do not include a return to the Spurs.
“It will be a surprise if those intentions do not include continuing to allow [Spurs head coach] Gregg Popovich to fulfill his vow to squeeze every last drop out of him like a tube of toothpaste.”
If Manu Ginobili returns to the San Antonio Spurs as expected, he will be providing veteran leadership on a team that had recently lost longtime point guard Tony Parker, who signed a two-year contract with the Charlotte Hornets and is expected to back up Kemba Walker on his new team. He will also be encountering some new faces in the locker room in the aftermath of the Kawhi Leonard trade, as the Spurs got shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and young center Jakob Poeltl in exchange for Leonard and veteran wingman Danny Green.
In a separate report, Amico Hoops quoted DeRozan, who recently told reporters at the Team USA training camp in Las Vegas that he’s a longtime fan of Ginobili and is looking forward to teaming with him.
“It would be great just to learn from a guy like that and pick his brain.”
As noted by Amico Hoops, Manu Ginobili is still giving the San Antonio Spurs good value for a man his age, having averaged 8.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game in the 2017-18 season, where he played in 65 out of a possible 82 games. He remains under contract with San Antonio for one more season and will be earning $2.5 million in the 2018-19 NBA season if he does indeed return to the team.