Thursday, June 11, 2009

Express News: Popovich: 'I cannot envision trading' Ginobili
By Buck Harvey on Jun 10, 09 06:06 PM

When Manu Ginobili flew back to San Antonio after the Beijing Olympics, Gregg Popovich was there to pick him up at the airport. Now Ginobili says he wouldn't be shocked if Popovich drives him back this summer to catch the next flight out of town.

Asked this week in Argentina about the possibility of being traded, Ginobili told a reporter there: "A year ago I thought this would be impossible, and today I believe there is a chance it could happen."

There's always a chance. "People get in trouble when they say never," Popovich said Wednesday. There could always be "a stupid offer" from another team, he said.

"But Manu Ginobili is someone I cannot envision trading," Popovich said. "He has been such a huge part of our heart and soul; people like that are hard to come by. You don't even think about trading somebody like that. I can't imagine a scenario where he would be traded."

Ginobili also talked about the Spurs halting contract-extension discussions with him last summer after the Olympics. "I do not know what they want to do," he told an Argentine reporter.

I think Ginobili knows what the Spurs want to do. They want to see if he can make it through a season before they decide whether they want to pay him, or how much they want to pay him.

He's been a bargain for the Spurs on both of his San Antonio contracts, including the one that will pay him about $10 million next season. But even if Ginobili does well next year, how much money should the Spurs invest in someone who will be 33 years old in 2010?

A June, 2009 guess: They would offer a two-year deal near his current salary.

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