San Antonio Spurs trade rumors reveal the team has dealt Tiago Splitter to the Atlanta Hawks. By moving Splitter, the Spurs likely gain more room under the salary cap to pursue LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency. A report from CBS Sports on Wednesday (July 1) confirmed the deal, but also stated that there are further details that the Spurs and Hawks are working out.
This Spurs trade is a risky move, especially if the team has no guarantee that a free agent is going to sign with them. Tiago Splitter has two years left on a deal that pays him $8.5 million in the 2015-16 NBA season, and then $8.25 million in 2016-17. That’s a lot of money for the San Antonio Spurs to get off the books, likely allowing the team to not only sign a big name free agent, but to also easily re-sign Tim Duncan, Danny Green, and Manu Ginobili to new deals.
It is still unclear just how much space the Spurs have created, especially since it hasn’t been announced which player(s) the Hawks are sending back. Teams under the salary cap do not have to exchange similar salaries in NBA trades, so it’s possible that it could be something as small as a second-round draft pick for Splitter. That would seem like a desperation move for the Spurs, though, as Splitter has a lot more value than that as a role player in the NBA.
The Atlanta Hawks may come out way ahead in a deal like this, because Splitter could provide very valuable minutes to a team losing Paul Millsap in free agency. In five seasons with the Spurs, Splitter averaged 83 points and 5.3 rebounds a night, but those numbers got better when the team increased his minutes. He could see a lot of minutes in Atlanta, possibly making him a player worth watching in fantasy basketball leagues. Splitter might even end up in the starting lineup for the team.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Kawhi Leonard already agreed to a five-year deal with the Spurs in free agency. The team is making moves quickly this offseason to possibly put another championship contender on the court, and the moves make a lot of sense if they can ultimately lure LaMarcus Aldridge. As for the winner of this San Antonio Spurs trade with the Atlanta Hawks, it sure seems like the Eastern Conference just got a bit better.
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