Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News reported the decision Sunday:
Just got text from Matt Bonner that reads: 'I'm coming back." #Spurs.— Mike Monroe (@Monroe_SA) July 13, 2014
Bonner, 34, was an unrestricted free agent, but it never seemed likely that he'd leave San Antonio, where he's played the last eight seasons and won two NBA titles. While not the most integral part of the Spurs' roster, Bonner has carved out a role as a three-point specialist who can come off the bench.
Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News noted that this is what San Antonio does so well—adding cheap veterans to bring off the bench:
As I Tweeted weeks ago: Matt Bonner is poster boy for how to fill out the end of your bench with a minimum contract. Checks all the boxes.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) July 13, 2014
The Spurs have concluded much of their business early in the summer, with the three-year, $22.5 million deal for Boris Diaw their biggest offseason splash. With Bonner back in the fold, San Antonio now has 14 players locked up for the 2014-15 season, which leaves one more place for Aron Baynes, per McDonald:
Agreement with Bonner gives Spurs 14 commitments for next season. Roster max is 15. Baynes still unsigned.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) July 13, 2014
Few organizations can build a team like Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford. Bonner may not score often, but his teammates will trust him to hit key shots in big moments.
Continuity has been one of the biggest reasons for San Antonio's sustained success, and bringing back players like Bonner is the overlooked stuff that wins titles.
In 2013-14, Bonner played 11.3 minutes per game off the bench, averaging 3.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest. He's a career 41.7 percent shooter from beyond the three-point line, though, making him a threat when he's on the floor for San Antonio.
Several big-name stars may have stolen the free-agency spotlight in recent days, but with so many players back from last year's championship-winning team, the Spurs are in a great position to defend their crown.