Spurs’ Ginobili strongly considering retirement

Manu Ginobili will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili is seriously considering retirement and is expected to soon meet with coach Gregg Popovich to discuss his future, according to a report from ESPN.

Ginobili has spent 16 seasons in the NBA, all with the Spurs. He owns four championship rings.

But it all could come to an end before training camp, ESPN reported.

“Popovich is traveling back to San Antonio from Europe, where he recently participated in the league’s Basketball Without Borders event in Belgrade,” ESPN wrote. “The Spurs are hopeful that Ginobili will want to return for a 17th NBA season and are allowing him to take all the time he needs to make a decision, league sources said.”

Ginobili, 41, averaged 8.9 points in his typical role off the bench last season. He was a key contributor during the Spurs’ days of dominance during the early 2000s, along with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

But Duncan is now retired, Parker signed with the Charlotte Hornets in July and star forward Kawhi Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors (for DeMar DeRozan) — all of which has forced the Spurs into a rare retooling phase.

“Manu has said often he would continue playing as long as his family is OK with it and the Spurs wants him back,” wrote Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “We know the Spurs want him back.”

Ginobili has one year and $2.5 million left on his contract. The former No. 57 overall pick is one of the NBA draft’s greatest steals and carries career averages of 13.3 points, 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds.