There are reasons why the Spurs have stalled any contract renegotiation. During the 2008-2009 season Ginobili only played 44 regular season games and missed the entire 2009 NBA playoffs due to a troubled right ankle. His age coupled with his break neck style of play, are concerns for the Spurs in their decision.
Not to mention this "re-sign or not to re-sign" song and dance is not something new. Back in 2008, Manu underwent surgery to repair his ankle after he injured it in the Beijing Olympics playing for Argentina. His agent, Herb Rudoy, had this to say, “Contract negotiations for an extension have been put off until after the surgery,” Rudoy said. “The Spurs want to see how he recovers from the surgery.”
If you are the Spurs, you have to wonder just how much Ginobili has left in the tank. Add the fact that younger players like Malik Hairston and George Hill are developing, the Spurs would be interested in pushing for the future rather than sticking to the past.
But he has remained reasonably healthy this season, missing only five games in the early part of the season due a strained left groin.
In 56 games this season, he is averaging 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.7 assist while shooting 41.5% from the field and 37.4 from behind the arc in 27.7 minutes. This is his lowest point production since the 2003-2004 season when he averaged 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assist in 77 games.
However, Ginobili has played better lately. In February he was the best Spur as he averaged 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 11 games and led the Spurs five times in scoring during that stretch.
In the Spurs recent win against the Phoenix Suns, he led the Spurs with 21 points. 11 points of which came in the final quarter. But more than just stats, he also reminded everyone that he can still make spectacular plays and get the crowd up off their seats.
Just recently, Coach Gregg Popovich said this about Ginobili "The last two and a half weeks, Manu had his lift and quickness. He's making better decisions because his rhythm is back. He feels more confident in his shot."
Even in defeat Manu was at his best scoring 38 points, grabbing 7 rebounds, dishing out 5 assist while adding 2 steals in 37 minutes of action. However, his efforts went for naught as the Spurs lost a heart breaker to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Still, it could be a sign of good things to come. As of late, Manu has been looking a lot like the Manu of old.
With that being said, it maybe wise for the Spurs to give him a contract extension before this season ends. But has he played well enough to convince the Spurs to extend his contract?
Perhaps. But the Spurs could be taking a little more time and probably want to see more proof he is worth the risk.
Ginobili doesn't seem to worry much about his contract extension saying that "Just because I don't expect the Spurs to extend my contract before it expires does not mean my days as a Spur are over." He said that for a reason. He knows that the NBA is a business and probably feels that the Spurs are going to re-sign him when the right time comes. But Spurs fans want to see his name across the dotted line soon!
There is one thing for sure. Should the Spurs not re-sign him, he will be a free agent in demand. What team would not want a player of Manu's caliber? Championship pedigree, clutch, passion for the game and his veteran experience all will make him an attractive free agent.
It will be hard to imagine Manu Ginobili playing for a team other than the Spurs. The city of San Antonio loves him and he's been a huge part of the teams' successes. The Spurs will never be the same without him and when the Spurs make their history books, the name "Manu Ginobili" will be etched as one of best and fiercest competitor to ever play for the Silver and Black. Not to mention, his jersey number is a sure lock to be hanging on the rafters of the AT&T Center for years to come.
What do you think? Has Manu proven himself to be re-signed by the Spurs or should the Spurs wait until the offseason to decide? Share us your thoughts.