Mike Monroe’s Depressing Insight


Back in late January I wrote a piece indicating that an impending lockout, while probably needed for small market owners like Peter Holt, could have some very negative ramifications for the Spurs on the court.

Before tonight’s game, Mike Monroe from the Express-News brought up another possible consequence of the lockout: What will it mean for the Spurs and Tiago Splitter?

His point was with a lockout looming, even if offered the full midlevel exception would Tiago Splitter come over to the NBA knowing he will, in all probability, lose a year?

Reports are that Splitter has drawn heavy interest from Real Madrid, as noted earlier, setting up a possible bidding war.

The article mentions the deep pockets of Real Madrid, one of the wealthiest and most successful sports clubs in Europe in both soccer and basketball, and Tiago Splitter’s young age, which would allow him to stay overseas a few more years while still affording him the opportunity to come to the NBA in his prime.

Again, it should make for an interesting summer.

  • ChillFAN

    Considering all the hype on Mahinmi played out, even if Splitter came over next year, it’s unrealistic to think he could develop in time to help in the quickly closing window that is Tim Duncan.

  • doggydogworld

    Splitter is an accomplished European player. Mahinmi was a raw project. There’s no comparison.

  • http://www.goodtimescomic.blogspot.com Jordan

    I feel my heart sinking every time I read one of these articles. Even so, I’m very thankful that you let us know. Thanks!

  • grego

    The way the Spurs would have to sell it is, take the current MLE contract because the new CBA will ruin your chances of making more money if your goal is making the NBA.

    In theory, now is Splitter’s best time to come over since the new CBA will almost certainly hurt the players in terms of big money.

  • lvmainman

    There is probably a 1% chance that Splitter comes to the Spurs, especially if Real Madrid offers a contract. Why all the optimism that he’ll join the Spurs?

    Did Robertas Javtokas, Sergei Karaulov, Viktor Sanikidze, Ian Mahinmi, or Luis Scola join the Spurs? Only Ian Mahinmi signed.


    Did Yiannis Bouroussis, 6′ 11″ #1 rated overseas free agent according to nbadraftexpress.com, sign with the Spurs?

    Why the delusion that Splitter will join the Spurs?

  • junierizzle

    If POP won’t play him who cares?

  • grego

    @Ivmainman –

    Javtokas – never achieved what they had hoped for after his motorcycle crash. He then overvalued himself when the Spurs looked at him realistically.

    Karaulov – has always sucked. He never panned out overseas. They have never thought about bringing him over.

    Sanikidze – was one of the earlier guys that they were excited about. Got injured and never improved to the levels they had hoped for. Maybe he eventually gets there, but he still is not that good.

    Ian – injuries have definitely stopped progress. It’s hard to say with him. But yes, they brought him over.

    Splitter might or might not join, but your cited players do not back up your notion one bit. In terms of failures, the Scola incident is really the only one the Spurs actually mucked up.

  • buns

    If you have to compare the “readyness” of Splitter for the NBA, think of how Pau Gasol made the jump.
    As for Scola, I’ve always tought the Spurs blew that one, officialy just to save them 2M$ (don’t even think of mentioning to me Jefferson’s contract at that moment) Definitely (one of?) the badest move of an otherwise pretty good 10 year span decisions.

    Footnote-commentnote-whatevernote: Scola had young Splitter under his wings for three years in Vitoria. Hope Tiago doesn’t end up in Houston…

  • objective

    Splitter not coming due to the lockout is something I’ve posted about for several months over at ST.


    Sanikidze the last 3 years has made tremendous strides if only looking at the competition he’s been in. He goes from the garbage Georgian league one year, to the less garbage Estonian league with Baltic league play, and now he’s in the Italian league with a nice role. Georgian-Estonian-Italian isn’t a small accomplishment for someone overcoming injuries.

  • Big J

    Damn that sucks. (bluntly)

    Fits the theme of late.

  • grego

    The big reason for the Scola screw up was Oberto. They got Oberto for the price they wanted Scola at. Obviously, Scola is the better NBA player of the two.

  • ThatBigGuy

    Attention all you Scola knuckleheads:

    In the summer of 2005, the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA (who drafted Scola in 2002) attempted to negotiate with Baskonia to buy out his contract. After initially throwing around numbers as large as $1.5 million, Baskonia eventually settled on a still higher number of over $3 million dollars for the contract. This made it difficult for Scola to join fellow Argentina national team member Manu Ginóbili in San Antonio because of the NBA’s rule which limits teams to paying no more than $500,000 of a player’s buyout. Scola would have been responsible for paying Baskonia the remaining $2.5 million. When the deal to buy out Scola’s contract fell through, the Spurs instead signed an Argentine national team teammate and friend of Scola’s Fabricio Oberto. (Wikipedia)

    It wasn’t a move based on talent, it was a HUGE money issue to bring Scola over. Stop using him as an example for the FO’s inability to scout talent.

  • Mark H

    I’ve been skeptical as to whether Splitter will ever play in America. If I recall correctly, he had backed out of the NBA Draft twice(?) before he was drafted by the Spurs. I imagine he’s more worldly or confident now and thus more willing to risk the NBA. All the same, he’s apparently mindful that his services have a higher value in Europe than America. Add to this the probability that European basketball has more prestige than even five years ago and I’m that much more doubtful that he’ll don a Spurs jersey.

    Therefore, be it resolved (for myself anyway):

    The Spurs did Luis Scola a favor by trading him to Houston; no such favor can be accorded to Splitter. Arguably, the Spurs were somewhat culpable for mishandling Scola, and trading him expeditiously made things right. Or, if you don’t believe that one, let us at least agree that the perception was we mishandled Scola, and it was important to dispel that perception. Up to now, Splitter has had no grounds to complain. We have patiently waited for him and been careful not to upset his prospects in Europe. It must therefore be: the Spurs or Europe. A trade would have to deliver substantial value to the Spurs (not a likely prospect). Euro-stars should no longer be allowed to leave NBA teams at the altar, and we can set the example.

  • Hoopster

    The front office definitely misplayed the Scola deal.
    They flat out were just being cheap and it just never made sense. he was the Euro MVP and then we turned around and signed Bonner for actually more money for the same 3 yr deal. Safe to say which player most would rather have at this point.
    I have been critical of the FO because of their inability to sign the talent or when traded away have anything to show for those trades. It would be safe to say that the FO has been very good at evaluating talent, they have just not done a very good job of keeping and signing, or trading and getting something in return. I hope that they will not misplay the Splitter situation, but ultimately he will have to make up his mind to come to the NBA or not. While I do not blame him for wanting to make more money. Either he wants to play and compete against the best or he does not and so far we have seen that he has elected to play in Europe. Unfortunately the FO can’t really do anything about that so lets hope he has the passion and desire to play against the best.

  • J

    The Spurs were unhappy with Scola because he kept signing contracts in Europe that were too big to buyout. Scola had every opportunity to sign with the Spurs, but he went for the $ in europe, and wasn’t willing to pony up on a buyout.

    His team in Spain was smart enough to entice him with a big contract that had a big buyout clause– it was much more money than he could get in the NBA under the CBA, and he would have to, not only part with the future big $, but give back a fair bit he had already received in a buyout.

    Scola wanted it both ways– he wanted to make mroe than he could under the NBA collective bargaining agreement, and at the same time have it all resolve itself when he could join the Spurs.

    The Spurs did the trade with Houston because it was being made to look like the Spurs were preventing Scola from entering the NBA by holding his rights but refusing to sign him at the end when they had written him off. The spurs have to fix that or they would never be able to scout int’l talent, not to mention angering Ginobili, who is Scola’s good friend.

  • -SONofSAN-

    Splitter would be a fool not to sign with the Spurs! if he’s that good and can make an big impact, dosent he realize he could possibly be the next face of the franchise! and that means more $$ in the future! not to metion he’ll might learn a thing or two from the great Tim Duncan and HOF David Robinson!

  • Hoopster

    All of that is fine and dandy but the problem with the deal ends up being that when we did decide to write Scola off and trade him we did not get anything for him. That is the my biggest complaint. Our organization has been historically frugal(this year being a huge exception) and I can live with that, but when you draft a guy with that talent level and get basically nothing for him that is a problem. And no matter what he was doing the Spurs did not step up to the plate and do the buyout. Funny how Houston did the buyout and signed him within a couple of days after we traded him to them. It really was not anything but the Spurs being cheap. But our FO decided to go the cheap route and sign his Argentinian teamate for alot less money thinking they were pulling a fast one. Meantime Scola is a baller and Oberto will be out of the league in a year or two.

  • J

    I agree the Spurs should have gotten more for Scola than they did, but there may be some things we don’t know regarding $ issues and buyouts that cost the Rockets, lowering the trade value of Scola’s NBA rights.

    The Spurs aren’t going to win a title this year, so I’d like to see them give more minutes to Hairston and Blair (and maybe Mahinmi).

  • Hoopster

    I agree 100% we will not win a championship with this team as constructed. With that being said we have to find out what Hairston and Mahinmi can do on a consistent basis. Blair has already shown that he is ready for the NBA. These others are not going to help us unless they are given some time on a regular basis. Sending Hairston back and forth to the D-league is not helping his growth either. What I do not understand from Pop is when he has played Hairston he always gives us flashes of what he is capable of but yet we don’t see him consistently. Mahinmi still looks raw to me but we need to really see if he can give us anything for the future and if so then great, if not then we need to send him in some kind of package for picks or something.

  • Hoopster

    I know this will not be a popular notion but we should seriously consider trading Parker while we still can. His deal expires end of next year anyway so he would be even more attractive then he already is. There are alot of good point guards that could do the job for us and between he and Jokerson we will free up $27mil. That would be huge for us. However we must get something of substantial value in order to consider a deal for Parker. As I have stated on another thread we should have thrown Parker in a deal with Bonner and Finley to Washington. They would have absolutely done the deal even though Parker was not an expiring. Instead we held onto a guy we might not have after next year anyway and let arguably our biggest rival(Mavs) strike a deal for the same players that would have absolutely made us a true contender.

  • Michael

    Just to clarify, Hoopster stated that Scola was the Euro MVP and that is not true. As good as Scola was in Europe he never won any European championships or MVP awards. For some reason everyone in the US thinks he did but he did not.

    That is why he failed to make the Euroleague’s all decade team. I think it also needs to be stated because of the mysanantonio article that Splitter is not “widely considered the best big man in Europe”. Where does this stuff come from?

    So Splitter is “widely considered better” than Ioannis Bourousis, Mike Batiste, Nikola Pekovic, Fran Vazquez, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Aleks Maric, Darjus Lavrinovic, Nikola Vujcic, Robertas Javtokas, Sasha Kaun, Timofey Mozgov?

    Really? I’m from Europe and that is news to me. Actually, no way is he even as good as Bourousis, Batiste, Pekovic, Schortsanitis, Vazquez. Those guys are better than him.