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Report: Spurs expect Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich to return

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich reportedly aren't about to walk away.
Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich reportedly aren't about to walk away. (USATSI)

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San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan has a June 24 deadline on his player option for next season, and the organization does not expect that this playoff run will be the last for the 38-year-old future Hall of Famer -- or for head coach Gregg Popovich, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

Amid rising speculation that Duncan and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich might ultimately be moved to walk away together in the event that the team goes on to win its fifth overall championship, San Antonio's two faces of the franchise have routinely deflected any questions about their future plans.

But sources say the Spurs, to this point, are quietly operating under the assumption that Duncan and Popovich will indeed be back next season. Both of their current contracts, along with those of fellow Spurs pillars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, expire after the 2014-15 season, provided Duncan decides to opt in.

The image of Popovich and Duncan retiring simultaneously is a pleasing one, and it's conceivable that Manu Ginobili could leave at the same time as them. Ginobili said earlier this month that he would "for sure" be back, via the San Antonio Express-News, and based on the way they're dominating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, it doesn't look like the group is on the verge of slowing down.

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