After winning the 2014 NBA Finals, star power forward Tim Duncan had a decision to make regarding his playing future. Today, he exercised his $10.3 million player option, making it official that he compete for his sixth NBA title next season with the San Antonio Spurs.
Some fans thought that Duncan would go out on top after defeating the Miami Heat in dominating fashion for his fifth NBA championship, but his decision means that he wants more. Duncan, who may have lost some athleticism and quickness from his years when he was the Spurs’ offensive centerpiece, still has considerable gas left in the tank.
His postseason statistics, featuring averages of over 16 PPG and 9.0 RPG, reveal that Duncan can still be a solid piece in a title run. He also shot over 52 percent from the field in the playoffs, an astonishing feat for the sixth-oldest player in the league.
Gregg Popovich needs to be given a lot of credit keeping Duncan fresh, which has put him in a position to return for his 18th season. Popovich has played Duncan under 31 minutes in all of the past four seasons for the Spurs, and Duncan now has now rewarded him with this contract decision.
With Duncan’s decision official, the Spurs will certainly compete for another title next season. Although Duncan may receive less and less credit for every championship he wins at this age, his role should not be questioned. His leadership and experience have been a vital part to the Spurs team.
Without Duncan at the top, San Antonio may have been unable to rebound from their devastating Finals loss last year to Miami.