by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

This is not the first time Tony Parker’s name has been floated out in trade rumors. Last season, there was some rumbling, but it passed over quickly. With Tony entering the final season of his current deal with the Spurs, there’s no telling what the future holds for the point guard and his current employer.

Both sides continue to say the right things — the Spurs insist that Parker had a great offseason; Tony views the upcoming season as his final chance to win a title with Duncan and co. — but it’s not inconceivable to see them parting ways.

According to the Express-News, depending on how well (or badly) things go for the Spurs early on in the season, Parker could end up on the trading block:

This should be clear: He’s not Carmelo Anthony, another entering the final season of his contract. Parker wants to be here this season, and he wants to win. And if Parker resumes his All-Star status while the Spurs win? There might be the same franchise urgency to find a contractual compromise as there was with Ginobili late last season.

But everything else is also possible. If the Spurs don’t begin their season well, they will look to deal their most tradeable asset. And, when the season is over, they could lose Parker to free agency, no matter how well he plays … There are indications Parker is open to everything. Sometimes he has said he wants to stay, as he told the Express-News in May when trade rumors surfaced. And sometimes he sounds as if he would embrace change. “It would be … maybe a good challenge for me to go elsewhere,” Parker told the French newspaper publication, L’Equipe, in June. “If I leave, I can make another career — eight, nine years in a different club.”

The report goes on to suggest that Parker would like to play in New York (drawing largely from comments made by both Amar’e Stoudemire and Tony’s wife, Eva Longoria.)

Gregg Popovich claims that the Spurs consider themselves true title contenders. With Tony Parker’s contractual situation looming over everything, he and everyone realizes that this could very well be the last run for this particular group in San Antonio.