Duncan returns to Spurs for next season, while Carmelo explores free agency

Associated Press Published:

Tim Duncan could have easily gone out on top, with his fifth NBA championship trophy under his arm and his health intact just a few months after his 38th birthday.

There's just no way. Duncan is having too much fun with his San Antonio Spurs coaches and teammates, and he's playing too well to call it quits now.

Duncan has decided to exercise the option on his contract for 2014-15 and will return next season, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Monday.

The person requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.

As the Spurs beat the two-time defending champion Miami Heat in the NBA Finals earlier this month, Duncan was asked several times about his future, as he has been for the last five or six years. He was noncommittal, saying he would take some time after the season ended to mull his decision.

Duncan will make about $10.3 million next season in the final year of a two-year agreement that was drawn up specifically to allow the Spurs the financial flexibility to surround Duncan with top-shelf talent.

CARMELO ANTHONY CHOOSES TO EXPLORE FREE AGENCY

Carmelo Anthony "loves being a Knick" but is headed for free agency because he wants to explore his options, his agent says.

Leon Rose also says that Anthony loves New York and its fans. The All-Star forward had a Monday deadline to terminate the final year of his contract and had informed the team he would do so.

Anthony would have earned $23.3 million next season had he chose to play out the final year of his deal. Knicks president Phil Jackson had told Anthony it may be a good idea to consider that, but Anthony had repeatedly said his preference was to become a free agent this summer, and he told Jackson that during a recent meeting in Los Angeles.

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