Should Duncan exercise his ETO?

After this year’s playoffs, the NBA could be in a lockout. If that happens, the offseason development of the San Antonio Spurs’ young players might slow down.

During a lockout, team personnel will be forbidden from contact with players, meaning the Spurs will be forced to discontinue their work with Tiago Splitter, James Anderson and Gary Neal until league and union lawyers are done negotiating.

Longer tenured players like George Hill and DeJuan Blair will have to develop on their own too.

But there is more to it.

Tim  Duncan is due for a big payday next season worth $21.2 million and no player in NBA stands to lose more money than him during a potential lockout.

Duncan just turned 35 and is coming off career-low numbers during the regular season and the playoffs. In 76 regular season games, Duncan averaged a pedestrian 13.4 points and 8.9 rebounds in 28.4 minutes per game.

In six post season games, he averaged 12.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 35 minutes of playing time.

However, despite producing career-low numbers, Duncan remains a vital piece of the Spurs franchise and could help the team with their financial situation.

This summer, Duncan could exercise his early-termination option and sign a longer-term deal for less money to give the Spurs more financial flexibility.

If Duncan does this, he could help the team on their short and long-term plans. But how about his own financial security?

With all things considered, should Duncan think about exercising his ETO? Send your thoughts.


12 thoughts on “Should Duncan exercise his ETO?

  1. I’m sure Duncan is contemplating about this, he took a pay cut before to keep Bowen and Manu with the Spurs.

    On the other hand, it’s his money and it will be all up to him in end. Whether he does it or not Duncan deserves his pay day, the Spurs owe it to him.

  2. Duncan deserves to be paid that way but if he uses his ETO to help the team, I’m sure a lot of fans and players will respect him more.

  3. This is too much to ask from Duncan, he doesn’t have to do it. But if he does, the Spurs will have more financial flexibility and will them attract players to come to San Antonio.

  4. Duncan deserves that kind of money but Troy28 is right, Duncan already did a similar move in the past to keep the team competitive so there’s that chance.

    However, like most of you mentioned he doesn’t have to do it but if he does the Spurs is really blessed by having him as a player and person.

    Thanks for the comments and reads.

  5. I guess it all really depends. Does Duncan want to compete for another title by giving his team more flexibility to go after a player that may help him do so? Or is he happy with status quo re: talent of teammates and current achievements.

    Something tells me Duncan would be happier with his team competing at a higher level, but that’s just speculation really. It all falls on his shoulders and what’s important to him. A shot at winning. Or getting paid. (Of course maybe he feels this team doesn’t need an upgrade?!)

    • Duncan is one player who cares about winning a lot. In fact he’s New Year’s resolution is to win another title in 2011 but it didn’t happen as the Spurs were upset by the eight seeded Memphis.

      Duncan already take a pay cut in the past to give the team a chance to be more competitive, but right now towards the end of his career, he must think what’s best for him.

      and of course the impending NBA lockout could also factor his decision.

      Thanks for the comment and read. I hope to hear from you often here on

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  8. It is ultimately up to Duncan, and I think at this point both Pop and the organization understand that and are willing to do whatever he wants to do. The bigger issue is how Duncan feels about his future?

    If he only thinks hes going to be around another year then there is no point in using his ETO and resigning. However if he feels he still has another 2-3 years in him then they could resign him for less and at worse partially or fully guarantee his final year/s in case of retirement sort of like they did with Mcdyess.

    Personally I think the later option is the best given that any rebuild is going to require a lot more than just Duncan’s contract so in 2-3 years Ginobili will probably retire too. And in the short term the added cap room will allow a 61-win team to improve and compete for a championship (i.e. get a defensive SF like Hill, Prince, or Battier in Free Agency or another big man).

    • Very well said on Duncan’s ETO. I’m inclined to believe that Duncan still has 2-3 more years left in him.

      The Spurs’ needs remains the same, a better SF starter and another big preferably one who is a low post threat.

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