For at least the third time in the Finals, Tim Duncan declined to reveal whether he'll pick up a player option for $10.3 million to return for his 18th NBA season.
"I'm guessing you're leading me into a question that I'm not going to answer, so I'll just go ahead and avoid that one," Duncan chided an inquiring reporter after the Spurs clinched their fifth championship since he joined the team in 1997.
Duncan, 38, had previously said he has yet to seriously contemplate what he'll do, let alone tell anyone else.
But teammate Tony Parker and Spurs chairman Peter Holt both expect that Duncan and Manu Ginobili — who has already said definitively he'll be back for the last season of his current two-year deal — will return to help the Spurs defend their title.
"It will come to an end but I don't think next year," Parker said. "I think everybody's gonna come back."
Holt said, "Tim and Manu are going to play until they die, so I think we are in pretty good shape. Tim and Manu want to play until they die, somewhat sincerely, actually."