Updates from Saturday, Aug. 2
Parker talked about his extension with Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News: "I want to play for the Spurs my whole career, and be a Spur for life. I love San Antonio and want to live here when my career is over. I love the city, I love the people and our great fans. I couldn't be happier."
General manager R.C. Buford added:
His play warranted the commitment of the organization. At the same time, he made a commitment to our organization, too, by doing this now and taking himself out of a free-agency opportunity a year from now.
It was important to him and important to us to capitalize off the momentum this year creates and not have to worry about it at a later date.
San Antonio provided few details while confirming the deal on its official site. Parker was a driving force as the franchise claimed its fifth NBA championship last season. Four of those titles have occurred since he arrived in 2001.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports provided the financial information:
Tony Parker's precise contract: Three-years, $43.3 million, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 1, 2014
He'll make $13.4M, $14.4M and $15.4M over life of three-year extension, source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 1, 2014
Brian Windhorst of ESPN noted the 32-year-old Spurs stalwart still has another season left on his last contract before the new deal kicks in:
Tony Parker has signed a multiyear contract extension, Spurs announced. He was going into final year of deal making $12.5M— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) August 1, 2014
Parker, like all of the team's veterans, has seen his playing time reduced in recent years. Head coach Gregg Popovich has become the master of balancing the minutes of his aging stars while still winning games during the regular season.
Grantland's Zach Lowe has more on the Spurs' strategy:
Having stars take less than market value has been among 2-3 most important factors in SAS' revival as champs. Kawhi extension next on board.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) August 1, 2014
And if there's a guy they max out, maybe it's Kawhi. Give him max now, when he's young/on cheaper max, reap the discount later as he ages.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) August 1, 2014
As a result of his decreased playing time, Parker averaged a shade below 17 points per game last year. It was his lowest output in five years but wasn't due to a sharp drop-off in play. He remained a key cog as the Spurs navigated the playoffs and beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Word of the extension comes shortly after he talked about giving back to the team.
Normally, Parker spends his summers representing the French national team. Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News passed along Parker's comments on why he opted to skip international duty after winning the title:
Obviously it's always tough to see my teammates start without me. It feels like my second family is playing right now. But I have to be smart. I think it's the right decision for me, for the Spurs if I want to play a long career. I want to play two more summers (with France) and then I'll be done.
I think for all those years, being with San Antonio, (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) has always been great with me and the national team. I felt like this was a summer I can give back to the Spurs.
He did that to help the Spurs as they starting thinking about defending their championship next season. Now the team has rewarded him for his continued contributions to the organization.
Will Parker prove worth the new extension?
Expect more of the same from Parker and the Spurs moving forward. His regular-season numbers may never return to their previous heights, but San Antonio will maintain its status as a top contender and a definite threat come playoff time.
The quiet extension is another example of how the Spurs operate differently. While every summer is headlined by marquee free agents across the NBA, the Spurs lock up their own players, avoid the drama and continue to succeed thanks to Parker and buddies Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.