The San Antonio Spurs have a big offseason ahead of them. Kawhi Leonard needs a new contract, which will almost certainly be a max. Danny Green is a free agent. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will ponder retirement. With Duncan and Ginobili at or close to the end of their careers, the Spurs will want to reload, and LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol are names that have been brought up as possibilities.
To be able to bring in a player like Aldridge or Gasol, San Antonio might have to deal away some salary to create more financial flexibility. One possible avenue the Spurs could explore is a trade of center Tiago Splitter, and ESPN’s Marc Stein says that’s a notion that’s gaining more traction among people around the league.
Splitter dealt with injuries much of this season, playing in just 52 games on the year. He played in all seven playoff games against the Los Angeles Clippers, but he was completely ineffective, averaging 3.4 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 37.5 percent from the field in 17.6 minutes per game.
When healthy and at his best, Splitter is a strong rim protector, solid rebounder and opportunistic with his offensive opportunities. The Spurs’ starting lineup with Splitter healthy was one of the best in the league in the regular season.
However, Splitter has consistently missed games throughout his career, and he sometimes gets rendered ineffective because of matchups. While he can be an important part of the Spurs’ lineup, he may become expendable if there’s a real chance at Aldridge or Gasol. Splitter has two years and just under $17 million left on his contract, which is good value, so there would likely be a solid market.