Splitter Could Be Hot Commodity This Summer
Spurs center Tiago Splitter tries hard not to think about the money. This, he acknowledges, can often be easier said than done.
His value boosted by a breakout third NBA season, in a league not exactly known for restraint when it comes to throwing big dollars at tall people, Splitter is poised to enter free agency this summer holding a lottery ticket all but guaranteed to hit the jackpot.
“I’m not thinking about it during the games, of course,” Splitter said of his looming first brush with NBA free agency. “But it’s difficult not to think about it other times. It’s in your head.”
This is the season the 28-year-old Splitter — the Spurs’ top draft choice in 2007 — solidified himself as an everyday NBA player. Through 49 games, the 6-foot-11 Brazilian is averaging career highs in points (10.2) and rebounds (5.8) and owns the league’s third-best field goal percentage (59.9 percent), while holding down a crucial frontcourt spot next to All-Star Tim Duncan.
In the final year of his first NBA contract, worth $3.944 million this season, Splitter is set to become a restricted free agent July 1. The Spurs will have the right to match offers from other teams.