Manu Ginobili met today’s deadline and announced that he will opt out of his 2016-2017 $2.94 million contract and enter free agency.
The reason behind Ginobili’s decision is unknown. In the past, and a recurring theme for players around the league, players have chosen to decline their player options in order to increase their salary or at least see what their team will offer them.
Ginobili’s motivation might be a little different. As other Spurs players have done in the past, Ginobili may be looking to decrease his pay in order for the Spurs to have more money to spend on other prospects. Tim Duncan took significant paycuts in his previous two contracts, going from the 3rd highest paid player in the league to the 4th highest-paid Spur.
Ginobili may also be waiting to see what changes the Spurs are looking to make this offseason. Fellow veteran Duncan has a June 29th deadline to exercise his player option for next year.
Although the two experienced major playtime cuts last season, the possibility remains that they could come back in even more limited roles for at least one more season.