|One more go for Ginobili? (US Presswire)|
“If I'm going to play next year, it's highly likely it's going to be here,” he said. “So I really don't care about this being a contract season.”
That "If" there is the key part, if you missed it. Ginobili has talked before about playing in Argentina to finish his career, and as he said at media day Monday, he's got nothing left to prove and money's not an issue. Ginobili, by all accounts, will walk away when he thinks it's the right time.
But that could point to why the Spurs made such a big move to acqure Kawhi Leonard in the draft last year, and why they've set him up to be groomed as the next real star on the Spurs.
Duncan's also made it clear that the end for him is in sight, but then turned around and signed a new three-year deal. It's not a lock that he'll play all three years, but it is clear that this deal was the last NBA contract he'll sign as a player.
So while it's not likely, it's possible this could be the last year of Ginobili's career. Last year's playoffs showed that the next generation is creeping up on him, with James Harden out-dueling (and out-flopping) him in the Western Conference finals. Ginobili's also had injury problems the past two years. You have to think how his body holds up will be the biggest factor in whether Ginobili decides to give it a go in the future.