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Spurs want to keep Boris Diaw, but at what price?

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 17: Boris Diaw #33 of the San Antonio Spurs takes a shot against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 17, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Boris Diaw went from being the guy who won the “Shawn Kemp Award for most weight gained during the lockout” to a guy waived by the woeful Charlotte Bobcats to a guy who put up quality numbers for the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs. Diaw had a 16-point game against the Clippers it the second round.

It’s a testament to the power of organization, to understanding what a player can do and not do then putting him in position to play to those strengths and succeed.

After a good end of the season, the Spurs would love to have Diaw back next season, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The question is price.

Had the Spurs advanced to the Finals, then maybe another team would have wanted to steal a healthy 30-year-old with his kind of versatility. Anything beyond the mid-level exception will be out of reach of the Spurs… Were other teams still thinking he was worth, say, a $35 million deal? What happened in Charlotte will leave doubt, too.

Five years, $35 million is the full mid-level exception, but Who would give the full mid-level to Diaw? Unless you think you can use him as the Spurs did, it’s not worth it, and even then you’d wonder. I’d expect he will get more like half the mid-level (three years, $10 million?), but the way teams overpay bigs it will be interesting to watch.