Fri, Jul 18, 2003 - Page 24 News List

San Antonio Spurs remain centered on Tim Duncan

AP , SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

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 US$122 million, 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 center Rasho Nesterovic of Slovenia to a reported US$42 million, six-year deal. Wednesday was the first day that free agents could sign contracts.

Duncan became a free agent when he decided June 30 not to exercise a player option in his contract for 2003-2004, but never considered leaving the Spurs.

His last contract, signed in the summer of 2000, was a three-year deal valued at US$32.6 million.

He would have made US$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.

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