The San Antonio Spurs were about 28 seconds away in game six of the 2013 NBA Finals from taking home an NBA Championship. A Ray Allen three and a dominating game-seven performance from LeBron James later and the Spurs are left without a trophy and trying to re-tool in preparation for next season and, as they’re hoping, another run at the title.
The Spurs have made some savvy signings thus far this off-season. They added another wing scorer in Marco Belinelli and a big, strong post presence in Jeff Pendergraph. They may have overpaid a bit for Tiago Splitter, but they brought him back as well to keep their frontcourt in-tact.
However, one deal that is questionable from a pure basketball perspective is the re-signing of Manu Ginobili. It’s not curious that they brought him back, but it is a questionable decision that the deal, according to Mark Deeks, will pay Ginobili $14.5 million over the next two seasons.
To be frank, that deal is absolutely ludicrous. Ginobili’s skills have noticeably declined over the past two seasons to where he could only play 23.2 minutes per game last season and averaged just 11.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game and shot just 42.5 percent from the floor and only 35.3 percent from long-range.
Another aspect that makes that deal insane is the fact of how poor Ginobili was in the playoffs. Sure, he pulled out the occasional good game and great passes, but overall he really struggled. In 21 playoff games, he averaged just 11.5 points, five assists and 3.7 rebounds per game and shot an atrocious 39.9 percent from the field and only 30.2 percent from three.
Given the deal and Ginobili’s production last season, this deal has to be more out of respect for what Ginobili has done for the franchise than what he’s going to be able to do in the next two years. It’s clear that the soon-to-be 36-year-old doesn’t have the same spark that he used to have in his game and that his skills are deteriorating. It’s hard to argue against the Spurs bringing him back, but based on his play, the money they are giving him is absolutely crazy.