San Antonio Spurs legend and future Hall of Famer Tony Parker is leaving the organization to sign a two-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com.
Tony Parker has agreed to a two-year, $10M deal with Charlotte, league source tells ESPN— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2018
Source: Parker called Gregg Popovich in the last hour to inform him of decision to accept Charlotte offer. Spurs wanted Parker back, but Parker will take on a significant role with Hornets behind Kemba Walker. https://t.co/qjNzJqN2v0— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2018
Parker spent 17 years with the Spurs, forming a 'big three' with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Parker and the Spurs reached the NBA Finals five times - winning championships in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014.
With Duncan retired and Ginobili turning 41 years of age this month, it's safe to say that the end of an era is brewing in San Antonio. There have been rumors that head coach Gregg Popovich will retire after he coaches Team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
On top of that, franchise star Kawhi Leonard grew unhappy with the organization and has requested a trade, with the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers being his top two preferred destinations.
Parker was drafted by the Spurs with the 28th pick in 2001, and the French legend was named to six All-Star Games and was the 2007 NBA Finals MVP, when the Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers. Parker is also a three-time member of the All-NBA Second Team.
Now, Parker is joining a Charlotte team that has made the playoffs only three times in their history, and they have yet to win a series. With Parker backing up All-Star Kemba Walker and fellow Frenchman Nicolas Batum leading the way, Charlotte should contend for a playoff spot in 2019.
With Parker gone, Patty Mills is now the undisputed starter at point guard, and the re-signing of veteran Rudy Gay looks all the more smarter at this point. But even if Parker hasn't performed at an All-Star level for several years, his voice in the locker room will surely be missed.
Popovich has kept the Spurs in championship contention ever since Duncan retired two years ago. We'll see if he can do the same without Parker.