Manu Ginobili, Spurs Reportedly Finalizing Contract for 16th Season with Team

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2017

San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) walks up the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday that the San Antonio Spurs and veteran guard Manu Ginobili are finalizing terms on a deal that will see him return for his 16th NBA season in 2017-18. 

Ginobili, 39, has spent his entire 15-year career with the Spurs, winning four titles. He is a two-time All-Star and the 2007-08 Sixth Man of the Year, and the Argentine has averaged 13.6 points, 3.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game in his career so far, shooting 37.0 percent from beyond the arc.

He paired with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker to give the Spurs one of the most consistent and successful organizations since the turn of the century. The Spurs have made the playoffs in each of his 15 seasons, part of a larger streak dating back to the 1997-98 campaign.

Few players were more fun to watch or more charismatic on the court than Ginobili in his prime. He was a playmaker; a marksman from range; a flashy yet heady performer; and finally, one of the foreign-born players who opened the doors for international players and helped expand the NBA's and basketball's popularity around the globe. 

Even last season, when he didn't quite have the bounce in his step or the impact he once possessed for the team and averaged just 7.5 points per game in a reserve role, he managed to supply memorable moments for the Spurs.

There was his game-winning block of James Harden in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Or his nutmeg of David West in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals:

So there is a role for Ginobili off the bench once again, even if his best days are clearly behind him. His leadership, experience and intelligence alone will be major assets for the Spurs, and the fact that he's still capable of pulling a magical performance out of his hat at unexpected times is a major plus as well. 

Eventually, he'll go down in Spurs history as one of the organization's most beloved players and a key contributor to the team's successful run atop the NBA. But he'll have at least one more season before he calls it quits.

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