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Tony Parker's trade-in value just went up

Photo: Clarke Evans NBAE/Getty Images., License: N/A

Clarke Evans NBAE/Getty Images.

On the eve of sport's grandest game, San Antonio's longtime quarterback Tony Parker cemented his legacy as the premier point guard in the annals of Spurs' lore. History arrived for Parker in the third quarter of Saturday's 107-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder when he notched career-assist number 4,475 to become San Antonio's all-time dime king. The three-time NBA All Star finished the night with a season-high 42 points and nine assists putting him in the conversation to represent the Spurs in the league's mid-season classic in Orlando.

Parker and company now embark on their annual rodeo road trip, a nine-game gauntlet that head coach Gregg Popovich will utilize to build chemistry and undoubtedly set the tone for the remainder of the season. The Spurs have been somewhat underwhelming on the road so far, with only three wins away from the AT&T Center. However, a resurgent Tim Duncan and an inspired Parker have been in full attack mode lately, cinching a four-game winning streak. With guards Manu Ginobili and T.J. Ford still on the mend, both will be critical for success on the road.

The Spurs travel to Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Detroit this week in what could very well be the last rodeo road trip for the championship-delivering triumvirate of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili. Early signs indicate that Duncan will return to the team after his current contract expires at the end of this season, and, barring injury, it's difficult to imagine Manu in a uniform that isn't silver and black. This brings us back to Parker and his recent career night serving as a reminder that despite his stellar service he remains the Spurs' most valuable trade asset.

With San Antonio's current lack of depth at the point guard position, Parker isn't changing colors anytime soon. After last season's playoff debacle, Coach Pop traded away his self-proclaimed favorite player, George Hill, rather than give up Parker, irking many within Spurs nation. With a fully loaded draft class on the horizon, the question is how long will Pop stick with the floor general that he molded from a 19-year-old unknown fledgling emcee into an NBA Finals MVP? As Tom Brady, Bill Bellichick, and the New England Patriots reminded us on Super Bowl Sunday, dynasties never last forever.

Manuel Solis covers the Spurs with Ryan Sachetta for the Current. Follow them online at and catch their print column here every other week.

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