View Full Version : Tony Parker contract situation bodes ill for the Spurs

11-01-2004, 09:52 AM
Contract situation just the beginning? Popovich protests

Web Posted: 10/31/2004 12:00 AM CDT

Buck Harvey
San Antonio Express-News

Gregg Popovich and Tony Parker go deeper than anyone imagines. They are father-son, as well as father-friend.

The two got together this fall, for example, to watch a presidential debate.

But that's not why Popovich defended Parker in his contract talks last week. Popovich did it because it was the right thing to do, because it didn't hurt his coaching effectiveness, and because of another relationship.

Popovich and Peter Holt.

Was last week just the beginning?

Parker's exact worth is up for debate, but the details of Holt's decisions are not. Barring a last-day reversal, Holt will turn down Parker's extension proposal with illogical exactness. The difference between the two is approximately $2 million over six years, and NBA teams throw around that much money on postgame shrimp.

When Holt says not a penny more, that's what they are talking about in this business world. Pennies.

Parker's price could come down, too, and it already has. He has gone against the advice of his agent, who would prefer Parker wait a year to test the market. Then, the agent thinks Parker could attract a maximum offer that would run about $86 million under the current collective bargaining agreement.

Agent hooey? A 22-year-old point guard with speed and experience and attitude will likely draw a few bids next summer.

So, when Parker called Popovich, asking him to intervene, Parker did so because he wants to stay in San Antonio. The result was Parker's compromise at about $66 million over six years.

It sounds high. David Robinson got about the same in his second contract. Besides, Denver signed Andre Miller for far less last summer, and Miller and Parker are not far apart as point guards.

Then there are Parker's slumps at the end of the Spurs' seasons. Speedy Claxton was needed to close out the 2003 Finals, and last spring Parker went flat against the Lakers.

Still, it's even easier to make a case for the other side, and Popovich does. The graph of Parker's career shows an arrow with the arc of one of his soft runners.

From a rookie season of remarkable poise to last year's step up, is there any reason to think he won't still get better? His final month before the Lakers series answers that. Night after night, with every skill in place, Parker played as only the best do.

Holt still prefers to wait. He wants to see what the new labor agreement will bring, and he adds this was "the single-hardest decision since I've taken over the team."

It just might be his single-hardest decision. The only other decision he has had to make is whether to laugh out loud at league meetings.

Other owners can't believe his good luck. Holt has championship trophies, a publicly-funded arena, a character-driven roster and a payroll that defies the win-loss column.

No NBA team has had a better dollars-per-win ratio, and Holt has Popovich and R.C. Buford to thank for that. Drafting talent such as Parker and Manu Ginobili is as helpful for the books as it is on the court.

Other owners would see the surplus in these good times as a motivation to invest later. A kind of income averaging. Other owners would also listen to Popovich, who has done well thus far figuring out value.

Holt, instead, wants to be careful that business keeps going the way it has been. And if Parker's price goes up, Holt says that's the risk he's willing to take.

But what's the chance the same owner who blinked at an extra $2 million over six years will embrace an extra $20 million? That means the Spurs would then carry two maximum contracts on the roster at the same time.

Holt's track record for this kind of commitment is less proven than Parker's success on the court. A likely move then: Trade Parker, then replace him with less-costly talent.

If Popovich could win on a budget before, couldn't he again?

Popovich, having found this special core, might have a few things to say about starting over. Popovich found Parker, believed in him, yelled at him, connected with him.

So, if Popovich loses his point guard simply because Holt refuses to pay as other franchises do?

Then this relationship, too, would be deep.

On the bottom.

11-01-2004, 10:47 AM
As a Kings' fan first and a Mavs' fan second, I'm hoping this Holt character doesn't wake up and sign Parker to this extension...$66 million is probably below market for a player of Parker's ability.

11-01-2004, 05:33 PM
If Nash at 30 can get $65m/6yr, I don't see why Parker can't get more. He's only 22yrs and already outplayed Kidd in the Finals a couple years ago. He's a special player and I hope SA lose him next year.

11-01-2004, 06:08 PM
He didn't outplay Kidd and I don't think he's proven himself to be a special player yet. That being said, I'd feel better if he were playing for the Bobcats.

11-01-2004, 07:32 PM
IMO Peter Holt is making a massive mistake by not giving Parker 66 million over 6 years. ...but you wont hear me complaining~

11-01-2004, 08:14 PM
Parker is only 22 and the sky is the limit with him. He has already won one NBA title with Duncan how many more will the two have together. If the Spurs botch this their championship hopes will be over next season.

11-01-2004, 08:38 PM
Originally posted by: jayC
Parker is only 22 and the sky is the limit with him. He has already won one NBA title with Duncan how many more will the two have together. If the Spurs botch this their championship hopes will be over next season.

Parker needs to show consistency before they give him a huge ass contract

he was good against the lakers in two games last year and then disappeared

11-01-2004, 10:32 PM
It's being reported on a Spurs board that Parker has agreed to a 6 year $66MM extension.

Poindexter Einstein
11-02-2004, 04:45 AM
I saw the same on an ESPN scroll ...an extension was signed, reportedly

11-02-2004, 06:03 AM
Damn, I guess Holt woke up...

And, yes, Parker hasn't exactly been a playoff stud just yet, but he's only been in the league a couple years, and will probably only get better at handling the pressure. I'm sure he'll have plenty of chances as long as he's playing with Duncan.

11-02-2004, 06:29 AM
The Spurs dodged that bullet, but I still think it's ridiculous that they let that contract negotiation get out of hand because of Petey Holt's unwillingness to pay out $66 million rather than $64 million on a 6 year deal...