Tim Duncan exercises player option for next season; What it means for Spurs

Duncan reportedly opts into current contract

(Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO – Tim Duncan has reportedly exercised his player option for the 2016-17 season, sources tell The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Wojnarowski reports Duncan remains undecided about his future and will continue to contemplate whether to return for his 20th season with the Spurs.

By opting into his current deal, Duncan is slated to earn $5.6 million if he returns next season.

SBNation NBA writer Mike Prada explained why Duncan opting in helps the Spurs during this free agency period. 

Had Duncan opted out, the Spurs would be forced to keep a cap hold of 150 percent of his previous year's salary on the books. Duncan made $6 million last year, so that cap hold would be for $9 million. It would have been very difficult for the Spurs to create enough cap space to sign a top free agent like Kevin Durant and still keep Duncan for anything more than the veteran's minimum. 

The Spurs will meet with Kevin Durant and have been linked to Mike Conley and Pau Gasol.  

Duncan will reportedly join Coach Gregg Popovich on the recruiting trip for Durant's services. 

Duncan averaged career lows last season in points and rebounds as he deferred the offense to Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker, but he continues to be a savvy veteran and helped the Spurs rank No. 1 overall in defensive efficiency last season. 

Duncan is the franchise’s all-time leader in scoring, rebounds and blocks.

Duncan was drafted No. 1 overall in 1997, and has led the Spurs to five NBA titles.

He is a 15-time NBA All-Star, has been named league MVP twice and won Finals MVP three times. 

Tim Duncan | PointAfter

Other free agent news and notes related to the Spurs: 

San Antonio Spurs free agent center Boban Marjanovic has been extended a qualifying offer by the team, likely making him a restricted free agent this off-season, Zach Lowe of ESPN reports.

Should Marjanovic, 27, reject the qualifying offer of $1.5 million, he will become a restricted free agent, giving the team the option to match any deal.

The 7 foot 3, 290 pound Serbian native became a fan favorite this past season during his inaugural season with the club.

Marjanovic averaged 5.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and had a 27.7 performance efficiency rating during the 2015-2016 season.

Pau Gasol officially became a free agent this week and told Spanish newspaper, Marca, in late April that the Spurs would be an interesting destination. 

At age 35, Gasol continued to put great numbers for the Chicago Bulls last season, averaging 16 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks per game. 

Wojnarowski said in a podcast this week that Gasol is a high priority for San Antonio. 

The Grizzlies are pulling out all the stops to re-sign Mike Conley. 

They posted a video featuring Justin Timberlake on their website imploring Conley to stay in Memphis.

Conley has been linked to the Spurs, but will most likely want a max contract. 

It’s also unclear if signing Conley means Tony Parker moves to the bench and recent reports indicate the Spurs interest in Conley may be overstated as free agency begins.

The Kevin Durant sweepstakes will begin this weekend and six teams have confirmed scheduled meetings with the free-agent All-Star, including the Spurs.

As previously reported, the Spurs would have to make some major roster moves to sign Durant. That includes possibly trading Danny Green and waiving Boris Diaw.

The front-runners still appear to be Oklahoma City with Golden State, San Antonio and even Miami moving into position if the Thunder can not re-sign Durant.

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