by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Of all the big-time players that are expected to his the free agency market this summer, Manu Ginobili is perhaps the one name that is the least discussed. At least, that was the case until recently.

Ginobili gave Spurs fans a bit of a heart attack when, an interview with an Argentinian newspaper, he stated that he doesn’t expect San Antonio to renew his deal before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

And now, it’s time for some damage control.

Here’s the report from the Express-News:

Ginobili said he was concerned some of his comments weren’t properly understood, especially as they related to his belief the Spurs won’t offer him a contract extension before his current contract expires on June 30.

“In Argentina, the term ‘extension,’ as it is here, doesn’t exist. The fact is, they can re-sign me before the deal is over. They took ‘extend’ to mean even after it is over, instead of re-sign. So they are two different terms.”

Ginobili said he understands the Spurs’ reluctance to offer a contract extension before season’s end but said it was important to stress that this does not mean he expects to leave San Antonio. “I don’t expect them to re-sign me before the deal is over,” he said. “I’m going to be a free agent, and then I’m going to decide. That’s the only thing. It’s not that I’m saying I’m not going to be a Spur. That’s the difference.”

Ginobili’s case will be a very interesting one to monitor once the season comes to an end.

His numbers are down this year (injuries will do that to you), and everyone knows the Spurs aren’t getting any younger. And though he is an enormously popular player in that town, management will need to make some very tough decisions when it comes to his asking price.

Despite his assurances, it remains to be seen if San Antonio and Manu Ginobili are the right fit for one another going forward.