Tony Parker Wants to Return to the Spurs Next Season, Would Accept Backup Role

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2018

San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker (9) drives against Golden State Warriors' Quinn Cook during the second half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in San Antonio, Sunday, April 22, 2018, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 103-90. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Darren Abate/Associated Press

Despite moving into a smaller role this season, Tony Parker is apparently not ready to retire.

The 35-year-old said after Tuesday's loss he would like to return in 2018-19 and would be satisfied remaining in a backup role behind Dejounte Murray, per David Aldridge of Turner Sports.

The San Antonio Spurs saw their season come to an end Tuesday with a Game 5 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Parker only scored four points in 14 minutes in the 99-91 loss, and he only averaged 13.3 minutes per game in the series.

The 17-year veteran has played his entire career in San Antonio, earning six All-Star appearances while playing a key part on four championship teams. He was the MVP of the 2007 NBA finals.

Unfortunately, he has seen his role reduced over the past few years and especially this season with younger players like Murray and Patty Mills earning more playing time.

In the first 1,143 games in his career, Parker started all but 13 of them coming into the season. This year he came off the bench in 24 of his 55 games, setting career lows in points (7.7), assists (3.5) and minutes (19.5) per game.

Perhaps most importantly, his contract is up after making more than $15 million this season, per Spotrac.

While he might want to return for another year, San Antonio will have to decide if he is worth adding to the roster for another year.

With that said, Parker provides a lot of value in the locker room with his experience and still helps on the court with his passing ability, leading the team in assists per game. With the 40-year-old Manu Ginobili also considering retirement, keeping one veteran leader could be a smart move for the Spurs going forward.

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