Saturday, October 30, 2010

A French For Four More Years

Shortly after logging on to check Facebook and Twitter this morning, I encountered the news that Tony Parker had signed an extension with the Spurs.  If you've known me or followed me on twitter for any extended period of time, you know I've been calling for and thanks to ESPN's Trade Machine, had been scheming to get Tony Parker traded out of San Antonio. In 2003, when the Spurs had just won their second NBA title but Parker was less then stellar against the Nets and Jason Kidd was available. Kidd re-signed with the Nets and then, fortunately for the Spurs, required at least one knee surgery.  Parker turned into an all-star and for a few years a top 5 point guard in the NBA. Still, I wanted him out. He was a speedy point guard who was going to slow down at some point, so why not trade him now and get some value.  The Spurs didn't and then his contract was set to expire so again, why not get some value for him? The Spurs had George Hill has an heir apparent and their were rumblings Parker wanted to go to New York.

Now comes the news that Tony Parker signed an extension. At first I didn't know what to think.  He is apparently healthy and there is now some resolution to something that had the potential to be a gigantic distraction for the whole season (See: Carmelo Anthony).  Then I thought "Good God, what if he signed a 5 year, 70 million dollar extension?!" I thought my head might explode. Then I saw Andrew McNeil from 48 Minutes of Hell tweeted that Parker's French web site was reporting his deal was for 4 years and 50 million dollars. Then, for all my calls for to trade TP, I decided I was happy with the extension.  It's a very reasonable contract in rich basketball player terms, higher then Richard Jefferson's new contract and below Manu's extension from last spring.  More importantly though, the market for a point guard has dried up considerably in the last few years and if the Spurs had just let him walk next summer they wouldn't have even been in a position to replace him.

I don't love this contract and certainly don't love Tony Parker on the Spurs, but short of convincing a dumb GM to give back too much for the speedy point guard who is getting older and will eventually slow down, Tony Parker is more valuable to the Spurs then he is to the other teams in the league. He probably has two more years left in his prime and then hopefully he is able to adjust his game and become a veteran leader for a Spurs team in transition.  Just please TP, don't release any more French Rap albums.

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