Antonio McDyess’ retirement decision: To be continued
It’s not quite last year’s Decision, is it?
Right about the time the Collective Bargaining Agreement expired and free agency was supposed to begin, Antonio McDyess’ contract had a deadline. If he had not retired and been waived by the Spurs, he was set to receive his full $5.2 million salary for the 2011-12 season. If he had chosen to retire, the Spurs were going to waive him and give him a nice, $2.5 million gift.
But with the NBA locking out the players and no clear picture as to when next season will actually start, McDyess and the Spurs agreed (before the lockout) to extend the deadline to decide what to do with McDyess’ contract. The new deadline to decide Dice and the Spurs’ future plans is now the first day of free agency. I’m assuming the end of the first day, I doubt both sides would pick a random time in the afternoon for a deadline.
Free agency won’t start until the new CBA is agreed upon and signed by both the NBA owners and the players union. So this gives Dice ample time to rest his 36-year-old body and figure how much more punishment it could take. Truthfully, when he got elbowed in the back of the head against Memphis in the playoffs it looked like he deicded he was done right then and there, but here we are.
If the NBA season is shortened, like in 1999 when the Spurs won their first title, I would expect a high probability of McDyess returning for his 15th season. That, I believe, is the point of this delay, to see how long next season actually is. If it’s a short season Dice’s body should be able to stand up to the wear and tear.
With the Spurs salary cap situation this summer, and no certainty to what it will look like when the CBA finished, Dice returning for another season could be a blessing for the Spurs. Even if McDyess retires and his cap hit is limited to $2.5 million, the Spurs will still be over the salary cap. The only new big men the Spurs would be able to bring in would have to sign forÂ a minimum contract or be acquired through sign-and-trade.
It’s hard to say if either route could bring in a big with the same (or better) quality as McDyess. Not to mention the influence he has and respect he commands in the locker room. With the average age of the Spurs (sans Dice) at 26.4, San Antonio is becoming a younger team. Take out Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili from that equation and it’s even younger.
The Spurs have limited options for adding to the big man rotation next season. While there are some players out there who may come cheap (Please, oh please bring in Kyrylo Fesenko), San Antonio has a player who’s already mastered the corporate knowledge part of the job in Antonio McDyess. It’s up to him to wait out the work stoppage and decide if he wants to take one more shot at a title.