Manu Ginobili reportedly agrees to a 1-year, $14 million deal to return to the Spurs

Manu Ginobili (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images) 

J Pat Carter/Getty Images

Manu Ginobili has reportedly agreed to a deal to return to the Spurs for a 15th NBA season. But he announced his intention to do so last week — that’s not the part that’s interesting. It’s the $14 million deal. 

Ginobili made $14 million in salary just once in his entire career, when he earned a little more than $14.1 million during the 2012-13 season. Since then, Ginobili has played for $7.5 million, $7 million and $2.8 million, respectively.

So why the huge raise? It may have something to do with how little Ginobili accepted to play for San Antonio last season.

The Spurs needed every penny to add LaMarcus Aldridge to the roster last summer, and Ginobili was among those who sacrificed financially in order to make things work. It’s possible that a wink-wink deal was made so that Ginobili would be paid enough to make up for it if he decided to return for an additional season. After all, $16.8 million over two years is right in line with what his salary should have been.

But there may have been another reason.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that the Spurs initially only offered Ginobili a deal in the $3 million range. The 76ers reportedly came calling with a two-year deal that would have paid Ginobili at least $16 million in the first season. Since Philadelphia is coached by Brett Brown, who spent nine years with Ginobili in San Antonio as a Spurs assistant, there was reportedly a legitimate level of interest.

Ginobili will turn 39 later this month. He averaged 9.6 points while playing a career-low 19.6 minutes per game for the Spurs last season.