As of Monday afternoon, the Atlanta Hawks “wish list” has one fewer name on it
According to both ESPN’s Marc Stein and Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter has agreed to a 4-year, $36 million contract to remain at home in San Antonio. After a breakout season, Splitter’s name surfaced all over the league as a potential free-agent target, and with obvious connections between Splitter and new head coach Mike Budenholzer, there was some smoke concerning a possible destination change for Splitter.
Though the Hawks never met with the Brazilian big man, he did receive formal interest from the Blazers (who were reportedly considering an offer sheet for the restricted free agent), which certainly sped up the process for the Spurs. Splitter wasn’t the most fashionable name on the market, but after a year where he posted a PER north of 18 and 8.2 win shares while shooting 56% from the field, he would have looked fantastic next to Al Horford.
As far as the contract is concerned, 4 years for $36 million is certainly not a “bargain” by any stretch, and I’m sure that there will be pundits who trash the deal for the Spurs. I’m in the camp that believes that Splitter, in his prime at age 28, is probably worth this money or somewhere near it, and generally, the Spurs are a team that is tough to question. Paying him $9 million at age 32 could be worrisome if he loses any of his limited athleticism, but they need to win now, and keeping their core together is essential to that.
In the meantime, the Hawks will search elsewhere, and with a meeting with Dwight Howard on Monday looming over the entire situation, it will be very intriguing to see which direction Danny Ferry heads in. Stay tuned for updates as they arrive.