SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 27: Tony Parker #9 of the San Antionio Spurs reacts to a call during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2011 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Tony Parker could become a member of the Sacramento Kings this week, as the San Antonio Spurs are reportedly fielding offers for the point guard. The three-time All-Star point guard. The three-time starting point guard on an NBA champion point guard. The 29-year-old former NBA Finals MVP point guard. (There is one active player younger than 32 -- Dwyane Wade -- with a Finals MVP to his name. Wade is four months older than Tony Parker.)
There is some difference of opinion in the overnight Parker thread as to whether the Kings should pull the trigger on a deal that sends the No. 7 pick and perhaps Omri Casspi to the Spurs for Parker. There are some concerns. section214 and others did well to address these concerns in the thread, but let's go ahead and lay these out in a story.
To your concerns about a rumored Tony Parker trade:
1. Tony Parker is not old.
No, Tony Parker is not old. He just turned 29 last month. As noted above, Dwyane Wade is older than Tony Parker. As 214 noted in the thread, Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Jason Terry are each four years older than Parker; two of those players rely on their athleticism or quickness quite a bit ... and just won a title. Tyson Chandler is a couple months younger than Tony Parker. Kevin Martin is less than one year younger than Tony Parker. Deron Freaking Williams is about one year younger than Tony Parker.
2. Tony Parker is really good.
Three All-Star appearances as a point guard in the West, a conference that features Chris Paul, Steve Nash and until very recently, Deron Williams. Twenty-seven players in the entire NBA registered 2,000 minutes and had a PER over 20 last season. Tony Parker was one of them. I don't think there is any question that Tony Parker is really, really good, so I won't belabor it.
3. Tony Parker is not that expensive.
Parker is due $37.5 million over the next three seasons, and another $12.5 million in 2014-15, unless he's waived, in which case he'd only be owed $3.5 million, per ShamSports. So you can consider the contract $41 million over three years ($13.6 million per year average) or $50 million over four years ($12.5 million per year average). Roughly 30 or so NBA players make more than that, including Carlos Boozer, Amar'e Stoudemire, Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Joe Johnson, Elton Brand and, uh, Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas. Parker's salary is not that high, considering that he is a multiple-time All-Star at a critical position with championship experience who just turned 29. If Parker were on the open market, his contract would be a lot higher than $12.5 million per year, or $13.6 million per year. A lot higher.
4. Tony Parker fits a need.
The Kings need help spreading the ball and organizing the offense. Tony Parker has finished in the top 10 in the NBA in assist rate three times, and is No. 41 all-time in assist rate. There are few better distributors in the NBA, and their names are Nash, Rondo, Williams, Paul. They are unavailable.
There's some concern that he doesn't shoot the three very well. This is true. He rarely shoots three-pointers (less than one per game lately) and doesn't make them. It could be worse: it could take a ton of three-pointers and miss them. He knows what works for him and what doesn't. His effective field goal percentage is typically quite strong. He's among the most efficient guards in the league on two-pointers.
5. The Kings can still make moves around Tony Parker.
This is the most beautiful thing about having so much cap space: grabbing one player won't suck it all up. If the Kings were to swap No. 7 and Casspi for Parker, the team would have $30 million on the books for next season. The cap last season was $58 million; reports have the NBA owners proposing a new flex cap that's at $62 million. That's a lot of cap space to use! The Kings could significantly upgrade the small forward position through free agency or imbalanced trade with $28 million plus in cap space. Even when you re-sign Marcus Thornton for $5-6 million, you are left with just a ton of space. section214 also noted that you could unload Beno Udrih to a contender for a second-round pick -- Udrih is a fair value player at a critical position, a position at which some contenders suck. That'd free up another $6.9 million. Trading for Parker could be a step 1 to the offseason, not the whole shebang.
In conclusion: please please please happen.