posted on Jul, 17 2003 @ 08:18 AM
Tim Duncan signed a long-term deal Wednesday to remain with the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, who also got the two-time league MVP some help to fill
the void left by David Robinson's retirement.
Duncan reportedly received a $122 million US, seven-year deal -- the largest allowed under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement. Spurs general
manager R.C. Buford declined to confirm details of the contract.
San Antonio also signed free agent seven-foot centre Rasho Nesterovic to a reported $42 million, six-year deal. Wednesday was the first day that free
agents could sign contracts.
Duncan didn't attend the news conference and wasn't immediately available for comment.
Duncan became a free agent when he decided June 30 not to exercise a player option in his contract for 2003-04, but never considered leaving the
His last contract, signed in the summer of 2000, was a three-year deal valued at $32.6 million. He would have made $13.3 million if he had accepted
the fourth-year option.
In six NBA seasons, the 27-year-old Duncan has averaged 22.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game. He averaged 24.7 points and 15.4 rebounds
per game in the NBA playoffs, which culminated with the Spurs winning the championship in six games over the New Jersey Nets.
San Antonio originally set its sights on Jason Kidd of the Nets and Alonzo Mourning of the Miami Heat. But Kidd decided to stay in New Jersey, and
Mourning also went there.
Buford said Duncan didn't want the Spurs to sign Kidd at the expense of adding another big man.
Nesterovic is the expected replacement for Robinson. Buford said the player from Slovenia gives Duncan a "new friend" in a system built on having two
"If you've seen his career in the last five years, you have to be pleased with his progress," Buford said. "I'd love to see him increase his blocks.
I'd love to see his rebounds increase, just his general aggressiveness on the floor."
Nesterovic averaged 11.2 points and 6.5 rebounds last season, the best numbers of his career.