A number of aging NBA superstars are free agents this offseason and might cash in on the larger salary cap for the 2016-17 season. Although most of these stars, who include Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Dwyane Wade, are expected to return to their current team, the question remains, how much do they have left?
Games played in 2015-16: 58
RPM position rank: Third
What numbers suggest Ginobili has plenty left in the tank?
Despite a disappointing postseason, Ginobili was more efficient (higher PER) and productive (more win shares) this season than last. Although his overall production pales in comparison to other shooting guards who played more, on a per-possession basis, only James Harden and Jimmy Butler had more of an on-court impact, according to ESPN’s RPM.
Despite a decline in explosiveness, Ginobili remains one of San Antonio’s top playmakers and is one of a few players who can create his own shot. As the pick-and-roll ball handler, he averaged a team-best 0.96 points per chance, and no Spurs guard created higher quality shots for his teammates than Ginobili.
What numbers suggest Ginobili is on the decline?
Ginobili logged 19.6 minutes per game last season, the first time he has averaged less than 20 minutes per game. There has also been a change in Ginobili’s game, as he is driving less often (and less effectively) and shooting more jumpers than in past years.
Because of his lack of aggressiveness, Ginobili’s free throw rate fell to the lowest level of his career (.257) and is nearly 30 percentage points lower than its peak in the mid-2000s.
If Ginobili calls it quits it will bring an end to the Duncan-Parker-Ginobili grouping, which ranks as one of the most prolific trios in NBA history. Their 575 regular-season wins are the most by any three-player group in NBA history, and their 126 playoff wins are also the most by any trio in NBA history.