Found December 02, 2011 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tim Duncan went back to work Friday for what could be the two-time MVP's final season. That's not the only mystery surrounding the San Antonio Spurs.
After Duncan practiced in a mostly empty Spurs gym, coach Gregg Popovich offered no clues about what new faces or old ones -- such as Antonio McDyess and Richard Jefferson -- will eventually join him once the NBA lockout officially ends and training camp begins.
Tony Parker swung by for a physical Friday, and Manu Ginobili is expected back in town next week.
"We're meeting and trying to decide who we want to sign and what free agents to go after and do we want to make any trades," Popovich said. "That's the emphasis between now and when training camp opens, for all the teams. ...We're all calling the same agents and free agents. It's a little bit of zoo in that sense."
The Spurs don't have much roster or financial flexibility while browsing the free agent market. The Spurs still had 12 players under contract after last season's crushing first-round loss in the playoffs, despite having the No. 1 seed and the NBA's best record for most of the season.
San Antonio added first-round pick Kawhi Leonard and guard Corey Joseph in the draft. McDyess, who is 37 years old, appeared headed for retirement last season but Popovich wouldn't say Friday whether the 15-year veteran forward was officially done.
Underperforming swingman Richard Jefferson and his 9.2 million salary this season could also be target for the Spurs under the new amnesty clause, which allows teams to waive a player and remove him from the salary cap.
"I don't know how it's going to look or who's going to be here," Popovich said.
At least on Friday, the Spurs had Duncan, Joseph and swingman James Anderson back and practicing in the gym. Duncan is in the final year of his deal that will pay him 21 million, making the 35-year-old one of the league's top-paid players this season. He wasn't made available to reporters Friday, and deflected questions at the end of last season about whether this would be his final year.
During the last shortened NBA season in 1999, Duncan and the Spurs won the first of their four championships. Popovich, in his typical we'll-win-or-we-won't style, shrugged at questions as to whether a 66-game season would be easier on his aging roster or if the extra time off would benefit his team that buckled under injuries in the playoffs.
At one point, Popovich joked with reporters about them showing up to ask questions, even though he wasn't going to give any answers. About the only real glimpse Popovich offered was how he personally spent his summer: Not paying attention to sports.
"I don't enjoy it that much," Popovich said. "I don't follow the sports pages, ESPN, what happened last night in basketball, football, hockey. I don't really care. It's not that important."
The Republican presidential debates, on the other hand?
"Oh," Popovich said, finally perking up, "I do watch them."
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