Tony Parker signs multi-year extension with Spurs
Big news today ahead of the Spurs’ second game of the regular season. The San Antonio Spurs announced that Tony Parker signed a multi-year extension with the team. Per the usual, the details of the extension were not announced.
[Update: According to Tony Parker's website, he signed for $50 million over four years. That's $12.5 million per year. STEAL.]
This is big for the Spurs, because it means that their explosive point guard is locked up for the rest of his prime (he is only 28, after all). Also a positive, the team can avoid the barrage of questions about Parker’s future and the trade rumors that go along with that uncertainty. Now everybody can focus on basketball.
It was obvious in the preseason and on Wednesday night that Tony Parker is back to the form that made him the NBA Finals MVP in 2007. Gone is the plantar fasciitis and other nagging injuries that slowed him down last season. The team didn’t need to wait as long for his return to form, like last season with Manu Ginobili’s extension.
This extension, most likely longer than the three year deal Ginobili signed last spring, also signals the changing of the guard for the silver and black. Tim Duncan has an early termination option on his contract next season, so this could be the last year of his career. Manu Ginobili is 33-years-old right now and his skills and physical abilities will most likely diminish over the next three years. This will soon be Tony Parker’s team.
Tiago Splitter is locked up for at least the next three seasons. The new-and-improved Richard Jefferson will be in San Antonio for four. Ditto for James Anderson. Assuming George Hill and DeJuan Blair are extended following their rookie contracts, the Spurs’ front office has built a team that should be a playoff contender long after Tim Duncan retires.
The threat of a lockout could have influenced Parker’s decision to sign an extension instead of test free agency. No one really knows what the pay scale will look like under the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, but the fact that he signed an extension and didn’t force a sign-and-trade to another team should affirm his commitment to the Spurs.