ALASTAIR Clarkson says San Antonio Spurs’ blueprint with their experienced players is an encouraging sign for the Hawks.

The Spurs have again reached the NBA playoffs, winning 67 regular season games on the back of their highly-talented veterans performing week-in, week-out. 

It’s a similar tale for the Hawks, who rely on the experience of Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge, Josh Gibson and Shaun Burgoyne on a weekly basis.

"We would expect they (Mitchell, Gibson, Hodge, Burgoyne) would all want to play next year and we want them to play," Clarkson said on 3AW on Sunday.

"They all had terrific years last year. We look at the San Antonio Spurs and (38-year-old Manu) Ginobli, and (33-year-old Tony) Parker and (39-year-old Tim) Duncan continue to get better.

"They made sacrifices to stay together in that franchise and they are seeded two in the home-and-away season and about to start playoffs.

"We don't want to put a time frame on those players when they finish up.

"It is too easy to look at birth certificates. 

“We have to get our kids through from the lower level, but it doesn't mean the older players have to go out.

“Over the course of the last 12 months, they have proved themselves in big games and home-and-away games; they are really important contributors."