NBA rumors: Manu Ginobili returning to San Antonio as special advisor

Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: Manu Ginobili is returning to the San Antonio Spurs as a special advisor to basketball operations. Ginobili will take on a player-centric role that’s focused on the development of players on and off the court.

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Tom Orsborn: Pop praised R.C. Buford's leadership during the pandemic, saying he "sets the tone" for the franchise: "He is somebody who thinks out of the box. He is an organizer, a manager...His initiatives, his overall vision have been of paramount importance during this difficult time."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Danny Ferry is returning to the San Antonio Spurs in a front office consulting role, sources tell ESPN. Spurs are also adding USA Basketball's Samson Kayode in a player personnel role in the front office, sources said.
While the Spurs have a number of talented younger players such as Dejounte Murray, they don't project to remain a perennial playoff team in their current iteration. "This rebuild is coming in San Antonio," said Wojnarowski. "Whether it's this trade deadline or this summer. There's no getting around it. It's going to be a hard road for them. They're not setup to turn this around very quickly."
The news: After a little more than 15 years serving as GM, Buford is getting prepared to bequeath the role to assistant GM Brian Wright, league sources have confirmed to The Athletic. Wright will report directly to Buford, who will officially get a new title that some around the NBA believe will be a role helping to oversee Spurs Sports & Entertainment.
When the Spurs initially hired Wright in 2016, he stayed behind the scenes and focused mainly on scouting. But sources have informed The Athletic over the last year Wright has been more involved, even fielding calls and packages for the trade of Kawhi Leonard the previous summer.
The San Antonio Spurs have announced a slew of basketball operations staff additions and promotions which includes former Spur Brent Barry as new vice president of basketball operations for the 2018-19 season. Via Spurs: The San Antonio Spurs today announced multiple additions and promotions to the basketball operations staff. Brent Barry joins the organization as vice president of basketball operations, while Wayne Diesel comes to the team as director of player care. Adam Glessner comes on as director of basketball intelligence, Cory Johnson is now the team equipment and travel manager and Massimo Simonetta comes to the Silver and Black as sports therapist.
Ginobili indicated he is open to having some sort of role with the Spurs. "What I made clear to Pop is that it's not 'Ciao, I'm leaving,' " he wrote. "My children have already started classes and while I'm in town I'll be close to the team and the franchise. Maybe I cannot help (anymore) by taking a (charge) or (with a steal) or something, but I'll try to add in what I can. I have a great appreciation for my teammates, for the staff and all the people on the team and I want it to go as well as possible. If I can help from the outside, I will do it with pleasure."
If Leonard wants the Spurs to make that super-maximum contract offer --- and indications are indeed, yes, Leonard and his group want that offer -- the history of how Popovich and Spurs president RC Buford do business suggests the offer won't come without significant repairing of the relationship.
While the decision regarding whether to offer Leonard a $219 million super-max extension rests with management -- and even the current players, according to a source -- ownership ultimately makes the final call. Convincing the team's former chairman and CEO, Peter Holt, and his wife, Julianna Hawn Holt, could prove to be a difficult sell for general manager R.C. Buford. The couple is currently embroiled in divorce proceedings.
Chris Mannix: As @Sam Amick noted, expect former Pelicans coach Monty Williams to emerge as an early favorite for the Bucks head coaching job. Williams currently working in the Spurs front office.
Months of discord centering on elements of treatment, rehabilitation and timetables for return from a right quadriceps injury have had a chilling impact on San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard's relationship with the franchise and coaching staff, league sources told ESPN. Under president and coach Gregg Popovich and general manager RC Buford, the Spurs have a two decades-long history of strong relationships with star players, but multiple sources describe Leonard and his camp as "distant" and "disconnected" from the organization.
Buford described a frustrating process of rehabilitation for what has been an elusive solution to an injury. "This has been difficult for everyone," Buford told ESPN. "It's been difficult for Kawhi. He's an elite level player. It's been difficult for the team, because they want to play with a great teammate. And it's been difficult for our staff. Historically we've been able to successfully manage injuries. This rehab hasn't been simple and it hasn't gone in a linear fashion."
Fans of Brian Wright believe he's still a few seasons away from being considered a legitimate candidate for a general manager gig, but they feel he has the confidence and curiosity to develop the fluency any exec needs to succeed at the top job.
Popovich indicated that the trust developed among himself, general manager R.C. Buford and Spurs ownership is what has helped the organization build the culture the rest of the league appears to be trying to replicate. “I think keeping owners informed about what’s going on is mandatory, and having input is fine,” Popovich said. “But I think there has to be an understanding that coaches and GMs have brains also, and we know who pays the bills. It’s a slippery slope, I think, if owners got too involved in that process. That trust relationship in those three areas is really important in creating a culture and making something that can be long-lasting. I’ve been here over 20 years. I think that says it all. They just let us do our jobs. We keep them informed as we should. And the chips fall where they may. If we’re not successful, I’m sure we’ll be gone just like anybody’s gone if things don’t work out well.”
Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard doesn’t believe the Spurs should make a move before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. “I think we’re doing good right now,” Leonard said. “It’s all about team chemistry. You’ve always got to figure out the best way for you and your team, but I think we’re doing a good right now.”
Popovich has always been in frequent communication with his point guard, but said Parker’s knowledge of the system and understanding of his limitations have helped him remain integral despite less offensive production. The 34-year-old Parker has taken it more upon himself to speak up, to get his teammates where they need to be, to feed Leonard and Aldridge when they have obvious mismatches and to, as Popovich said, “understand when we’re in mud and need something different.” “I’ve said it many times: As long as Pop is happy, and the Spurs are happy with what I’m doing, that’s all I care about,” Parker told The Vertical. “I can’t control what people are going to think. Or what they think I should do, because I’m not going to let my ego be above the team. The team is the most important, and for me, if I have to defer or be less aggressive to make sure Kawhi keeps going and LaMarcus be who is, I will do it. I never cared about my numbers.”
“[There are] a lot of talented teams in the NBA, but not everybody can sustain it for 15, 20 years. [There’s] a reason for that, though. Because everybody is so unselfish and nobody lets their ego be above the team,” Parker told The Vertical. “I think it’s unbelievable, through David, Timmy, Manu, me, then Kawhi, LaMarcus. It starts with the top. R.C., Coach Pop, the way they carry themselves, it’s all about the team. That’s what we want to do. “I always say I’m very blessed. Sixteen years, still playing in the league, still doing what I’m doing and be the starting point guard for a great organization, that’s a blessing for me.”
Popovich reiterated Duncan’s role with the team going forward will be on the former MVP’s own terms. “He can come once a week or once a month or every day,” Popovich said. “He can do whatever he wants.”
The former Euroleague and NBA baller, who had been a Spurs player in 2009, broke the news himself in a podcast interview with SLAM, also revealing that if this opportunity didn’t arrive, we could very well see him returning to courts. “I was actually thinking about going back to play this year and all of a sudden the Spurs called. For me, I’m big on signs. It was weird because when I was going to decide whether I was going to stay with the Players Association or go back to play, I was leaning more toward playing, even though I loved my job at the Players Association, but people always tell me if you still have that itch then you still have that love for the game, you have to scratch it. That void is never going to be filled if you don’t go back, so I was strongly considering playing.” “All of a sudden I get a call and I’m like, ‘someone’s trying to tell me something’, so I have to take heed. Putting things in perspective, I think my impact on the game is probably going to be on this side of the game now.”
The San Antonio Spurs have hired former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant for a role as a team scout, league sources informed ESPN. Grant, 44, has not held an NBA position since he was fired by the Cavs in February 2014. David Griffin, who at the time was the Cavs' vice president of basketball operations, stepped in as the acting general manager before securing the role permanently three months later.
Jim Lefko: Pop on Duncan: "He. is the coach of whatever he feels like. He's going to be around He won't be on the bench."
Most in the organization think Duncan will eventually join the franchise in a full-time capacity. They guess he won’t coach but will instead focus on personnel. Duncan has long been intrigued by the methods that Popovich and Buford use to identify talent. Duncan has at times disagreed with their decisions only to be proven wrong. He’s curious why. For now Duncan is standing in the background as an observer, and his own adjustment is jarring. For nearly two decades he has spent his summers building his body to withstand an NBA season. Now he can eat as much carrot cake as he wants without the need to burn off the calories.
Spurs Sports & Entertainment today announced that Peter M. Holt has retired as the organization’s Chairman and CEO and that Julianna Hawn Holt will assume both roles. Peter has held the position since 1996 when the Holts became the largest shareholder in San Antonio Spurs, LLC. Peter will remain on the organization’s board of managers and continue as part of the ownership group while Julianna will become the team’s Governor on the NBA’s Board of Governors. “I’m proud of what we’ve achieved over the last two decades,” said Peter Holt. “The championships are wonderful, bringing new sports franchises to San Antonio is important but the biggest accomplishment for me will always be the impact we’ve had in our community. The pride, support and love that our city has for the Spurs is truly amazing.”
In his first interview as Nets GM --with a New Zealand radio station-- on Thursday afternoon Sean Marks said that Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford of the Spurs encouraged him to interview for the Brooklyn job.
“Anybody that’s coming from the Spurs organization is definitely a great hire [judging] from what they’ve done in the past 20, 25 years,” Nets power forward Thaddeus Young said. “They’ve had a great organization, they’ve won championship after championship, always have produced a great team, and they have great people within the organization, great basketball minds.”
The Brooklyn Nets have hired San Antonio Spurs executive Sean Marks as the team's general manager. The Nets and Marks agreed to a four-year contract, league sources told The Vertical.
In discussions that extended to Wednesday night, the Nets significantly increased their contract offer to persuade Marks to accept the job, league sources said.
Marc Stein: Criticized Prokhorov yesterday but gotta be props today. Luring Marks out of San Antonio when Spurs badly wanted him to stay ... it's a win
The Brooklyn Nets made an overnight push Wednesday in their attempt to hire Sean Marks as general manager, improving their offer and negotiating with the San Antonio Spurs' assistant general manager late into the night, sources told ESPN. The Nets hope to have a resolution to their pursuit by Friday, a team source told ESPN's Chris Broussard.
The latest effort came amid growing concern within the Nets organization that they would be unable to lure Marks from the Spurs, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that the Nets are well aware Marks is wrestling with the decision after emerging as the team's top choice. Sources said Wednesday that the Spurs remained hopeful of persuading him to stay put.
After the Brooklyn Nets made an initial contract offer to Sean Marks to become the franchise’s general manager on Tuesday, team officials and the San Antonio Spurs’ assistant general manager continued discussions on deal terms and organizational responsibilities on Wednesday, league sources told The Vertical.
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