Some Spurs fans may feel like the Spurs bringing back Manu Ginobili for one more year is a symbolic gesture and that they maybe should’ve kept some of the younger guys like Jonathon Simmons moving forward.
But I don’t think those Spurs fans are giving Manu and the team enough credit for how well he played last season and what he meant to the Silver and Black.
Among Spurs guards, he had the second-highest efficiency rating on the team, second only to Patty Mills and a slightly higher number than Tony Parker. He also had the second-highest box plus-minus among the team’s guards, second only to Danny Green.
These numbers tell us that he’s still incredibly effective, even in limited minutes, for a team that won more than 60 games last season and had the second-best record in the NBA.
Manu also had the highest steal percentage in the NBA last year, making him a major disruptor on the defensive end every time he checked in.
And let’s talk about the playoffs, where Manu was nothing short of outstanding.
Of course he had that incredible Game 5 against the Houston Rockets, but it was more than that. He was among the top five Spurs in terms of box plus-minus and Value Over Replacement Player (VORP).
Meanwhile, despite playing more minutes, guys like Jonathon Simmons weren’t in the top 10 in either of those categories for the team.
Speaking of VORP, the terms of Manu’s deal haven’t been disclosed but he’ll likely make just a few million dollars so the Spurs can stay under the salary cap.
Manu’s VORP this past season was 1.3. Among older veterans with similar ratings are Kevin Love (making more than $22 million this upcoming season), J.J. Redick ($23 million), and Dwyane Wade (nearly $24 million).
And while you can’t put a price tag on it, it’s going to be invaluable for young players on the roster like Kyle Anderson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and David Bertans to have another year to spend with leaders like Ginobili.
Plus, with this upcoming season being the last on Tony Parker’s contract, with Parker, Ginobili, some dead cap money being cleared, and the NBA salary cap expected to increase the Spurs should have more than $20 million dollars in cap space to work with next season to bring Parker back and likely sign another big free agent.
So as you can see, the Spurs are making a great deal in bringing Ginobili back.