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NBA roundup: Duncan opts in, will return to Spurs

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Tim Duncan exercised his $10.3 million player option for next season and will continue his career for an 18th year with the San Antonio Spurs, the team announced Monday.

Duncan, after winning his fifth NBA title this month, had said he was undecided on his future. He had until Tuesday to pick up his option or opt to become a free agent on July 1.

Duncan, who turned 38 in April, averaged 15.1 points and 9.7 rebounds in 74 regular-season games this season and then averaged 16.3 points and 9.2 rebounds over 23 playoff games.

The Spurs’ core of their big man, shooting guard Manu Ginobili and point guard Tony Parker will now be back for their title defense. All three players are entering the final seasons of their contracts.

The 6-foot-11 Duncan was selected by San Antonio with the first pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. In his 17 seasons, Duncan has led the Spurs to 11 division titles and the playoffs every year.

—Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the team will not take Kansas center Joel Embiid with the No. 2 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

Embiid was projected to go No. 1 before it was revealed last week that he has a foot injury that requires surgery.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to take either Kansas guard/forward Andrew Wiggins or Duke small forward Jabari Parker with the No. 1 pick. That means Milwaukee will likely take the other.

—Croatia forward and potential lottery pick Dario Saric agreed in principle to a three-year deal with Turkish powerhouse Anadolu Efes instead of waiting for the draft, ESPN.com reported.

The move will essentially prohibit Saric from playing in the NBA for a minimum of two years.

Saric is The Sports Xchange’s No. 10-rated prospect. He averaged 19.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for Cibona in the Adriatic League this year.

—Baylor center Isaiah Austin, who was expected to be selected in the draft before he was diagnosed with career-ending Marfan syndrome, was invited by the league to attend the draft.

According to Yahoo Sports, Austin accepted the offer extended by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

The 7-foot-1 Austin, who is legally blind in his right eye, discovered last weekend through genetic testing as part of the draft preparation that he has Marfan syndrome, a condition that affects the body’s connective tissue. Because of potentially fatal complications involving the heart, Austin was forced to give up his dreams of a basketball career.

—Carmelo Anthony officially opted out of the final year of his contract with the New York Knicks, according to his agent, Leon Rose. He will become a free agent on July 1.

Anthony would have been paid $23.5 million for his final year with the Knicks. Instead, he will test the free-agent market and could land with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks or Miami Heat.

—Knicks point guard Raymond Felton is expected to plead guilty to a felony gun possession charge in a deal that will keep him out of jail.

Felton was in a Manhattan court in hopes of resolving the gun case that came about the same time his marriage was breaking up. He is expected to enter his plea on June 30 and receive a $5,000 fine and 500 hours of community service.

—Trade talks between the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves involving power forward Kevin Love are dead, according to multiple reports.

The Timberwolves wanted the Warriors to give up shooting guard Klay Thompson and small forward Harrison Barnes for Love, according to Yahoo Sports, but the Warriors are divided as an organization about dealing Thompson.

One reported discussion included the Los Angeles Lakers sending the No. 7 draft pick to the Warriors for Thompson. The Warriors would then send that pick to the Timberwolves for Love.

—The Warriors are adding Ron Adams to their coaching staff. The Boston Herald reported that Adams, a highly-respected Boston Celtics assistant, accepted an offer from the Warriors.

Adams is considered a strong defensive mind to help new head coach Steve Kerr.

—The Brooklyn Nets hope that power forward Kevin Garnett will return for the final year of his contract, according to ESPN.

Garnett has been quiet about his future since the Nets lost to the Miami Heat in the playoffs. The final season of his contract is valued at $12 million. If the 38-year-old returns next season, it will be his 20th in the NBA.

—Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur and guard Nate Robinson exercised their contract options for next season.

The Nuggets acquired Arthur in a draft-night trade a year ago. He averaged 5.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 68 games last season.

Robinson, who signed as a free agent last summer, averaged 10.4 points and 2.5 assists in 44 games before sustaining a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 29.

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