The Spurs have agreed to re-sign Boris Diaw to a three-year contract worth $22 million, according to Yahoo Sports and the San Antonio Express-News. The contract reportedly includes a partially guaranteed third year.
Retaining the French forward, who proved to be a critical x-factor during the Spurs' run to the 2014 title, was San Antonio's top offseason priority once Tim Duncan decided to opt in for the 2014-15 season.
"Hey Spurs fans, good news I [will] stay in San Antonio for a few more years," Diaw wrote on Instagram on Sunday. "Lets win it again. Go Spurs go."
Last week, the Spurs reportedly agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent point guard Patty Mills, who will sign a three-year contract to remain in San Antonio. With both Diaw and Mills returning, the Spurs will mount their title defense with all 11 players who logged at least 700 minutes last season.
SI.com ranked Diaw at No. 16 on our "Top 25 Free Agents of 2014" list, praising his key postseason role. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's decision to use Diaw alongside starters Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Duncan proved critical in both the Western Conference finals against the Thunder and the Finals against the Heat. Diaw entered the starting lineup for Game 3 of the Finals, and San Antonio won the next three games in blowout fashion.
Diaw, 32, averaged 9.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game in 79 appearances last season.
The contract represents a pay increase for Diaw, who signed a two-year, $9.3 million contract with the Spurs in 2012. He certainly earned the bump, especially during the postseason, and there seemed little doubt he would look elsewhere this summer. The basketball fit between the pass-happy Spurs and the unselfish Diaw is as good as it gets, and the roster fit with the other personnel is just as solid. Diaw's comfort away from the hoop nicely complements Duncan and starting center Tiago Splitter, and it helps that he is longtime friends with Parker.
Although age is usually a major consideration for a 32-year-old, especially one with a history of weight issues, Popovich played Diaw just 25 minutes per game last season, and has no major reason to increase that significantly going forward. Any risk that Diaw might not deliver on this salary as this deal reaches its conclusion is mitigated somewhat by the partial guarantee on the third year. In any case, the key was to keep Diaw in place immediately so as to give the Spurs the best possible shot to win additional titles before Duncan retires, and this deal accomplishes that goal without requiring a vast over-payment. As Diaw will be re-signed into San Antonio's cap space, this contract also leaves GM R.C. Buford with a $5.3 million mid-level exception to continue shopping in free agency if he so chooses.
The rest of the NBA might be anxiously awaiting decisions from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony, but everyone -- including those stars -- should take heed of this signing. When the Spurs went to their all-playmaker lineup that featured Parker, Manu Ginobili, Leonard, Diaw and Duncan, they posted a whopping 123.4 offensive rating a +18.8 net rating over 22 postseason games. That unstoppable quintet will now officially run it back next season. To rival teams weighing their options: good luck. To the still-undecided stars: pick your next home carefully, as these guys will be waiting for you sooner or later come next May or June.