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.

  • Zach R.

    This definitely proves he’s going to bolt to NY this summer…

  • DieHardSpur

    I can not tell you how happy this makes me. We know all post season success rides on timmy’s shoulders, but to have the opportunity to win it all, you need to have as many great players. Make no mistake about it, Tony is a GREAT player.

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  • junierizzle

    One word: YES!

  • Spizzlewizzle

    Great! Now that your paid, don’t pull a Haynesworth.

  • grego

    “This definitely proves he’s going to bolt to NY this summer…”

    Yep, Amare knows the truth.

  • The Beat Counselor

    Beautiful contract. This should really give us some room to manuever when Timmy’s gone.

    So glad that TP really meant what he was saying when he said he wanted to stay in SA all those times over the summer. Gotta admit, part of me thought he was just posturing. Shame on me.


    (Kirk) Penney for your thoughts?

  • Mike

    The Spurs didn’t really have a choice here. Parker had all the leverage. George Hill is an excellent third guard, but he’s not a penetrator and he’s not a creator. Now that Duncan rarely demands a double-team, Parker and Ginobili are our only players who force the defense to react and rotate to them, which frees up other players for each shots. The idea that we would trade Parker in the middle of this season was always ludicrous (as long as we didn’t suffer any catastrophic injuries knocking us out of playoff contention, of course). As Buford and Popovich attempt to keep the window open for as long as Duncan remains ambulatory, the Spurs could never afford to let Parker become a FA and risk losing him for nothing.

    Yes, Parker had to be concerned that the expiring CBA would result in lower free agent salaries (and cause him to earn less on a FA deal than he could get by re-upping with the Spurs), but the expiring CBA cut both ways. If Stern got his way and salaries were slashed by 25%, the Spurs would have been left far over the luxury tax threshold even without Parker. Essentially, the looming CBA expiration left us in the same position with Parker as we were this offseason with Jefferson: if we chose not to resign him, we would be left both without a key player and without the financial ability to sign a replacement. Based on how the salary cap works, if we hadn’t resigned Jefferson, we wouldn’t have been able to use that same money to sign a comparable SF. We still would have been scraping the bargain bin. So it was resign Jefferson or start someone like Bobby Simmons. We would have been in a similar position with Parker.

    The one thing that surprises me is the length of the deal. Parker is now under contract through the 2014/15 season. James Anderson is the only current Spur signed for that long. I’m surprised the Spurs didn’t insist on a 3 year extension so that Parker’s contract would expire the same year as Ginobili’s. At the conclusion of the 2013/14 season, Duncan will be 37, Ginobili 36, and Parker 31. I’m surprised the Spurs didn’t want to preserve the ability to blow the team up and start over at that point.

    Meanwhile, from Parker’s perspective, even with the threat of a new, salary-depressing CBA on the horizon, I’m surprised he would want to sign for the extra year. Even under a reduced salary cap, $12.5M in 2014/15 looks like a bargain for a player like Parker, so it’s not like he can say he was grabbing all the cash he could – he’s probably leaving some on the table by not becoming a FA. In addition, because he relies so heavily on his speed and quickness, Parker’s effectiveness is likely to decrease precipitously at some point. Once the speed goes, he will become an average player. I would think that he would want to sign only a short extension now so that he could set himself to sign one more big deal while at the tail end of his prime. The likelihood that a 31 year old Parker gets a last big contract is greater than the likelihood that a 32 year old Parker will.

    Bottom line, I’m thrilled we’ve locked Parker up, but a little worried about how far over the luxury tax we seem committed to being, especially with the possibility that the new CBA exacerbates it. Have Buford and Popovich locked in the Duncan-Ginobili-Parker-Jefferson-Splitter-Hill-Blair-Bonner-Anderson group at precisely the wrong time? In two years, are we going to find ourselves trading Parker for 25 cents on the dollar just to dump his contract because Holt can’t afford to pay all of the salaries and the luxury taxes that will go with them?

  • Hobson13

    WOW! This surprises the hell out of me. I really didn’t expect Parker to sign an extension before Spring at the earliest. The FO must be absolutely convinced that Tony is back to playing at an All-star level (and I agree with them). My biggest worry was that he would have want something like a 5 year $80 mil deal. That would have been hard to swallow, but a 4 year deal worth $50 certainly appears to be a very reasonable deal. Good job, Spurs!!

  • Nadeem

    Its very reasonable and sane. Ironic that it came on the day when Jon Stewart is hosting the Rally to Restore Sanity!

  • rob

    Great news for Parker and the Spurs. But this doesn’t mean he is going to stay in San Antonio after this season (though I’d hope he will).

    Depending on the new cba…this very well could be a good deal for any lookers and the Spurs wanting Tony in exchange for players/picks.

    But if Splitter ever becomes a significant player and Blair, Hill, Anderson prove to be very good players…this is a good thing for the Spurs if Tony stays.

    I see it as a win/win for both the Spurs and Parker. More so that there won’t be any looming questions as the season progresses and total concentration without distraction can be given to the task at hand.

  • bduran

    The Spurs FO have really done a great job. I am continually impressed by them.

  • Lenneezz

    I’m so shocked to hear this news!

    4 yr/ $50 Million deal is very reasonable. I really can’t believe that Tony signed it. This is exactly the kind of money that I believe that Tony is worth. Once again RC and Pop show me they are no fools.

    I owe Tony an apology. I didn’t think he would be this easy to work with.

  • idahospur

    Let’s just hope he plays great this year (pending good health) since he doesn’t have to leverage a new contract.

  • SpurredOn

    I appreciate how the Spurs F.O. handles it business with no leaks. Just do the right thing and treat people fair and professionally. It all comes back around to you. Congrats to them and Tony for getting this done with no public B.S. or drama. Other teams should learn.

  • Ravi

    Great job RC/Pop and Parker…it is a fair contract for both sides..this signing embodies the “team first” attitude of all the Spurs players..and i din’t think TP had it in him to ‘sacrifice’ money for the betterment of the team…

    I will admit, i am not the biggest TP fan..but i like him more, with this contract:) This contract is similar to Rajon Rando’s and i think its a pretty fair deal…more respect for Tony now….

    Let’s go spurs…get ‘er done!!!!

  • td4life

    All due respect to Tony, who is a team guy and a class guy, and all due appreciation that our team has removed all non-basketball distractions for the coming season so we can focus on getting it done on the floor… but it concerns me that the F.O. seems to think that we don’t need a pretty major injection of talent to truly compete. Maybe as a business, being a playoff team is the right way to go. Unfortunately, it also probably means we are a little too conservative, and that this will cost us better odds to finish out the TD era.

    I do remember Pop saying that the day would come when we have to trade for an All-Star… I wonder when that day would be…. Tony under contract guarantees that we would get value back, however, so who knows what next summer would bring. But, I doubt we’ll see anything drastic.

  • sasleepless

    td4life: “I do remember Pop saying that the day would come when we have to trade for an All-Star… I wonder when that day would be”

    That day would be when TD retires. As of now, TD and company feel they have a chance.

  • quincyscott

    I never understood the rationale of acquiring a new set of players to try to pry open the last couple of years of the Duncan era. Folks, the Duncan era is over no matter what in two years, maybe even in one year. In my experience, overhauling a team with new talent takes a couple of years to work out, no matter how talented the new guys are. For example, it took Gasol and Bryant two seasons to win a championship, and even then they looked a little shaky. (Not to mention that the Lakers got Gasol for practically nothing. Deals like that just do not happen.) I hope none of us are all that surprised if the Heat don’t quite meet expectations this season.

    Anyway, I just don’t think the Spurs have the time on the clock to do a whole lot of tinkering with their core. I think cementing the Spurs’ top three players and adding pieces was the better route. This certainly will not guarantee a title, but I think it gives the team a better shot than making a big trade would have. If these guys stay healthy, they have a chance, and I am going to enjoy watching the three of them finish it out together.

    Some Spurs fans have long had reservations about Tony Parker’s style of play. Hey, that’s fine. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, and that’s part of what makes sports interesting to debate about. But I hope we can put to rest the complaints about Parker’s supposed ego, selfishness, yada yada. Kudos to Parker. Spurs fans have been blessed in so many ways, not the least of which is that we have star players who genuinely like living here and playing here. Cavs fans and Nuggets fans should be so lucky. Not every NBA player gets mesmerized by the bright lights of LA, New York or Miami. For some of them, it’s all about basketball. Can we now all agree to add Parker to that list?

  • Jim Henderson

    A few brief comments:

    — Solid contract for Parker. Anything less than 5 years for 65 mil. was a good deal. And if Parker likes SA, and with the looming CBA, it’s peace of mind for him as well.

    — I agree with Rob — obviously this deal in no way precludes us from including him in trade packages in the future. If anything, particularly if Parker plays well in over the next year or two, this contract makes it easier to get value back in a future deal.

    — The FO obviously thinks it’s our best shot in going after a title near term to have all of the big three secured under contract beyond this year. Without a good deal of luck in a major trade, they are probably right on that account, although I think we’d disagree on our odds of getting a title by adhering to the status quo.

    — I don’t think it’s a forgone conclusion that TD will retire after his contract expires at the end of next year. I for one would love to keep him another 2-3 years, in a somewhat reduced role perhaps, and more importantly, at a reduced contract (say, 30 mil. for 3 years with an option on the 3rd year – this assumes that TD’s decline remains gradual out through 2012).

    — I don’t see this team getting a title in the next 3-5 years without putting at least one of the big three into a trade package in the next two years. If we can acquire the “right” young pieces in such a trade(s), we might still have a shot between now and 2015. We still need a “great” overall defender in the front court, and another young “go-to” all-star stud on the wing.

    — Either way, our team should still be fairly successful for a few years at minimum, and fun to watch along the way. That’s more than a lot of fans have.

  • DorieStreet

    Following up on Quincy’s and Jim’s post- this deal represents 3 things: 1) Pending the cancellation of next season (which I don’t think will happen), the franchise put itself in the best position on how to continue being successful- on & off the court. 2)Coaching staff realized they let the Big 3 down in getting a 5th/back-to-back/6th title,so 2010-11 is one last try to get it with holdovers RJ, Dice & Bonner + the New Blood from 2008-09 on. 3) Gives the Spurs fans /NBA followers the opportunity to acknowledge the run we’ve had and that it is a significant era in the league’s history : Bird-McHale-Parrish won 3 titles in 6 years (’81, ’84, ’86); Duncan-Ginobili-Parker won 3 titles in 5 years (’03-05-07).

  • Shawn_b

    I thought RJ’ deal was bad…. now we got an evem worse one.
    Give TP a long-term deal basically assure no championship in 5 years !
    Expect a Playoff 1st or 2nd round out again!

  • Jim Henderson

    October 31st, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    “Give TP a long-term deal basically assure no championship in 5 years !”

    You’re assuming that TP could never be included in a package deal to acquire some special young talent(s). If we can get the “right” pieces back, TP could absolutely be on the table, probably starting next year.

    “Expect a Playoff 1st or 2nd round out again!”

    Unless we can find the right trade, that’s probably where we’re at. But it really doesn’t have much to do with the TP extension.

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  • Alix Babaie

    “I am announcing that I am keeping my talents in the Alamo city for the next four years. I just felt the need to make my DECISION a little more low key than SOMEONE else who ripped the hearts out of a city while taking a poo-poo on their NBA Title Dreams. With moi, Timmy and Manu in hand, we will continue the journey of 2010-11 to go for the ring!” – Tony Parker

  • Alix Babaie

    Oh one other thing, something that has been lost in this conversation is the fact that Tony took LESS money per year going forward than what he is currently earning. The guy is currently making $13.5 million per year in the last year of his contract and is going to make on average, $1 million less per year. All the people that have come onto this site saying Tony is an asshole, overrated, etc. don’t know what the hell they are talking about. All but maybe 2-3 teams in the NBA would LOVE to have TP as their starting PG! We should consider ourselves lucky to have plucked such a talent at #26 of the 1st round! This FO has won us 4 NBA Titles since 1999. Just think about that for a moment….all those years of suffering through the Alfrederick Hughes type of crap drafts and we have some people here complaining about this deal? How stupid. Thanks RC, POP et al for making this deal with Tony happen and thanks Tony for the hometown discount. Now, let’s go win that frickin’ ring!! GO SPURS GO, WIN ONE FOR THE THUMB, BABY!!!!!

  • Andrew A. McNeill

    @Alix Babaie

    One thing to keep in mind is that, yes, he’s taking a pay cut in terms of real dollars. But when this extension kicks in the NBA will be under a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and will most likely have a lower salary cap. So while the dollar amount is lower, it’ll probably be a raise in terms of percentage of the salary cap that his contract occupies.

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