Tony Parker Signs $50 Million Extension With Spurs
Clearly, the Spurs do not look like a franchise ready to blow it up and start from scratch as 13-year superstar pivot Tim Duncan nears the end of his career. Last spring, just before Manu Ginobili reached free agency, the team locked up the Argentine super-sub with a three-year, $40 million extension. Duncan's current contract runs through the 2011-12 season, though he can terminate the deal in the 2011 offseason should he so choose.
Parker, just 28 despite nine years of major contribution for the eternal contenders, was thought to be trade bait, due both to the slow fade San Antonio has taken from near-dynasty to solid playoff team and George Hill's quick ascension behind the starting point guard. Of San Antonio's three stars, Parker's bond with the Spurs has always seemed most tenuous, in part because of his relative youth but also because of previous flirtation between the franchise and Jason Kidd.
The Frenchman, with Nuggets star forward Carmelo Anthony, was believed to be a top target for the New York Knicks heading into the 2011 offseason; the 'Bockers signed point guard Raymond Felton to a decent deal after locking up Amar'e Stoudemire last offseason, but Parker has a great deal more talent and hype behind him. Three titles and a Finals MVP will do that for you.
The 2011 free agent class (assuming, given labor strife, there is one) is actually quite light on point guards. Most of the best options at the position -- Goran Dragic, Aaron Brooks, Rodney Stuckey and Mike Conley -- will be restricted free agents, assuming they don't sign early extensions with their current teams by the Monday deadline. Sebastian Telfair will be available as an unrestricted free agent, however.