The San Antonio Spurs believe Tim Duncan will return for a 19th NBA season, and are pursuing Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
Stein reports San Antonio has been "operating under the premise" that Duncan will be back and are "optimistic" about re-signing both he and Manu Ginobili to affordable salaries. Both veterans taking discounts to stay with the Spurs would allow the to re-sign restricted free agent Kawhi Leonard while also making an offer for Aldridge, a four-time All-Star.
Both Leonard, the 2014 Finals MVP, and Aldridge will likely command new contracts near or at the maximum. Reports emerged this week that San Antonio was atop Aldridge's list of destinations and that he had already informed Portland he would be leaving in free agency. The Lakers and Mavericks are also among the teams expected to seriously court the power forward.
Stein notes that Tiago Splitter, who many around the league expected to be movable this offseason in order for the Spurs to clear cap room to accomodate a marquee free agent, may not be on the move. The Spurs reportedly "rebuffed trade interest" in the Brazilian big man around the time of Thursday's draft.
- Jeremy Woo