It’s official. Tony Parker signed a four-year extension with the San Antonio Spurs this weekend.
Parker admits that he never had intentions of leaving San Antonio and wanted to slam the door on any speculation. By re-signing with the Spurs, the franchise has preserved their big three in hopes for another championship.
However, there are still three big questions regarding the Spurs after Parker’s decision—some that will be answered as the season falls in place.
Does the Big Three have what it takes?
The French native began this season saying this was likely the Big Three’s last chance at a fourth championship together because of Duncan’s age. Duncan will be 35 when the playoffs begin, and the final year of his contract is threatened by a potential lockout next season.
But Parker, who was weighed down by injuries during an under-performing season a year ago, now appears firmly invested in a possible post-Duncan future.
The three lead the team in points, rebounds, assists and blocks. They are far from shaken and have as much of a chance as any for a championship.
With Duncan’s future in question, are they prepared for the future?
The Spurs are also looking ahead: Parker’s contract marks their third big extension since April, when Ginobili signed on for three more years, followed by swing-man Richard Jefferson restructuring a new four-year deal over the summer. Duncan’s contract ends at the end of this season and his age places a huge question mark on his future.
However, with other strong, still young, players like George Hill, Jefferson and DeJuan Blair, there isn’t much doubt that they would have a problem staying in the mix of the competition.
What is Parker’s significance and can he manage to aid the team on their path to a championship?
Parker has spent his entire career in San Antonio, joining the Spurs at the age of 19. Coach Popovich put him in the starting lineup after just five games, and the next year, he helped lead the Spurs to their first of four NBA titles
Parker has averaged 16.6 points and 5.7 assists for his career. But foot injuries and a broken hand last season derailed him. While Parker’s numbers fell off, Ginobili’s own durability concerns kept the Spurs from offering the Argentine an extension until he proved he could still produce and stay healthy at 32 years old.
But the Spurs believe Parker might still have his best years in front of him—and just a side note, he’s not as old as Ginobili and Duncan, he’s only 28 years old.
All jokes on the age of the Spurs aside, Parker re-signing with the team is a stepping stone to the future of another possible championship.