Tall Brazilian: “I’ve always wanted to visit the River Walk”

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(Ed. Note: Mea culpa. Originally I incorrectly referred to Tiago as a Spaniard, but a few of our beloved commenters took the time to note my mistake.)

Ok, Tiago Splitter didn’t really say that. But Josean Quereta, president of Caja Laboral, Splitter’s Spanish Club, did say Splitter wants to play in the NBA.

Via the Express-News:

Quereta said he understands it is Splitter’s “intent and desire” to join the NBA next season.

Splitter, the Spurs’ 2007 first-round draft pick and the MVP of the Spanish League this season, “wants to compete in the best league in the world,” Quereta said.

Hey, don’t the Spurs own his rights? Does that mean, if he comes to the NBA, he’ll have to play for San Antonio? I’d be cool with that.

  • td4life

    @Jim Henderson

    Nice block by Ronny. This video show he’s not 6’10” though, more like 6’8″ to 6’9″…not that I care too much, we could sure use him.

  • Trade Tp

    Henderson- McD Duncan cant defend worth poop anymore. One block shouldnt HIGHLIGHT a players career. Thats the same thinking that gave us McDyess.

    Randolph is a better player.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Sorry to rain on everyone’s parade, but there’s not chance of the Golden State trades happening–especially not the one with Randolph. First of all, the team is up for sale (and won’t be sold before the draft) and there’s no effective management team currently in place. It’s similar to the paralysis that Atlanta had for a couple of seasons. Expect to see no trades with GS and some designed-by-committee, offensive-to-nobody draft choices. Second, about the only sure thing in Golden State right now is that Curry and Randolph are all but untouchable.

    That said, I’d love to pick up a couple of their players. I’d forget Magette or Ellis, who while talented are hardly worth the price tag and headaches they cause. But Azubuike and Turiaf are very much Spurs-type players. Parker and Morrow would fit well in San Antonio, too.

    Regarding some of the other trade ideas: Don’t league rules mandate that a team may not trade their 1st-round picks in consecutive years? If so, then the Spurs can’t trade their pick unless they pick up one in return. I’m also not sure whether they could draft for another team and then make the trade later.

  • Tim in Surrey

    One more thing: I still think the most interesting player in this draft is DeMarcus Cousins. There are a lot of questions about him but he is unquestionably a great talent. Forget about Zach Randolph or Rasheed Wallace, to whom he is frequently compared. He’s much more talented than either of them. Having seen him play, he reminds me a lot more of Moses Malone, both in terms of attitude and talent. Sure, he’s a headache for your coach. But he’s a bigger headache for your opponents’ coaches. For all of the hype about John Wall, my alma mater Vanderbilt had a couple of guys who could defend him (Jermaine Beal, whom we should invite to training camp, and Jeffery Taylor, who is a likely lottery pick next year). But despite a lot of front court players, including an All-SEC center, we had no answer for Big Cuz.

    There’s a nice feature on him from ESPN’s Andy Katz:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/draft2010/columns/story?columnist=katz_andy&page=cousins-100620

    I think that a no-nonsense team like the Spurs, with a strong coach and a roster full of real leaders (especially Manu, TD, and Blair) would be a great place for Cousins–especially with Tim Duncan to learn from and pair with.

    I actually think this draft is pretty loaded–there are five strong talents at the top and lots of good possibilities down into the second round. ANY of the top five picks would fit our needs very well. (Imagine if we could add an effective wing player like Turner or Johnson to our roster this year, as well as Splitter.) If there’s any way we could pick up a top-five pick and retain that other first-rounder, even if we have to downgrade at PG from Tony Parker, I think we should do it.

  • Tyler

    @ Tim Surrey

    To get by the rule, a team can draft for another and then immediately trade the pick.

  • td4life

    @Trade TP
    You are missing the point, Randolf is not attainable. Certainly not for RJ.

    @Tim in Surry

    I don’t think trading for DMC is in any way more reasonable than the GS trade, although Anthony Randolf is not happening. GS cutting long-term payroll by losing Maggette only facilitates the pending sale.

    The only team that would be inclined to trade their top 5 pick is Philly, who are requiring the other team to take back Elton Brand’s 3 years @15mil per. Even in his prime EB could never take over a game in the final minutes. Never. But, I guess this means you are advocating sending RJ, TP, and change for Iggy (4 years), Elton, and the #2. Philly would LOVE the 2 expirings, but even just an RJ for EB is WAY to pricey for the Spurs… this is the one top 5 draft team that would covet the Spurs assets and the Spurs would not make this trade. What’s more, with the #2 pick, all indications are that the Spurs would select Favors (which is what launched all kinds of 76ers-Spurs trade speculation over the last month) over Cousins anyway.

  • Trade Tp

    Td- I understand that GS wouldnt want to part with Randolph. The point is what type of players we need. Turiaf V Randolph.. That would be like saying we need McDoosh more than Blair.

  • Tyler

    Speaking of the draft, this is an excerpt from an ESPN The Magaize article that polled potenital draftees:

    “Who’s your dream team to be picked by?

    Sure, many rooks (11.7%) want the Lakers to hand them a jersey. But the team most named was the Spurs, with 16.7% of the vote. Respondents point to tradition, Gregg Popovich (one of five coaches in NBA history with four league titles) and playing with 12-time All-Star Tim Duncan. “I want to go somewhere I can learn,” says one great college big man. The nightmare team? The Bucks. Explains a projected second-rounder: “They’re young, but they always seem young.”

    Interesting. I wouldn’t have thought the Spurs would be at the top of the list.

  • Jim Henderson

    Tim in Surrey
    June 21st, 2010 at 7:08 am

    “Sorry to rain on everyone’s parade, but there’s not chance of the Golden State trades happening”

    Number one, the trade doesn’t necessarily have to happen before the draft. Number two, the Warriors cannot afford to stand pat right now, new ownership in place or not. Current management/owner needs to make moves this summer that they believe will make their team more valuable to the prospective owners that have expressed interest (e.g., Larry Ellison, etc.). One major and obvious way of doing that is to clear out any long-term expensive contracts that the team does not see as adding value to the teams long-term future as a franchise. Maggette & Turiaf certainly qualify (getting Azubuike gives us incentive to take on Maggette’s contract, and he is an upgrade over RJ), and RJ’s large expiring contract will free up even more cap space for them in 2011.

    What the Warriors should want to do is build their team around Curry. To do that, they need to start getting rid of some excess baggage, and the sooner the better for a franchise that has only been modestly competitive a handful of seasons over the past 30+ years. They’re lucky they have good fans up their (I used to live there), but it’s a real shame that for a market of that size, they haven’t been able to field some strong teams. In fact, it’s really a disgrace, and needs to stop. With Curry, and some other young talent & high draft picks, the next few years is ripe with potential, but they need to get moving, and start making some smart, shrewd decisions for this franchise. There’s nothing smarter at present than making this team financially leaner, and bringing its direction as a team into sharper focus. To do this, they need to start weeding out the most expensive and most extraneous parts to their direction as a team. And if they don’t know what their direction is by now, they need to fire all their management today, not tomorrow. After all, I’m sure none of the prospective new owners are particularly enamored with a 75 year old coach that has been the face of that franchise off and on for decades. With the teams he’s fielded over the years, would you? And if his buddy, GM Larry Reilly, can’t bring more clarity to that muddle of a team, what good is he either? The bottom-line is they need to get moving now. You mess around with Curry for too long and he’ll bail when his contract’s up at the end of next year. And that would be a tragedy; because that guy is that good. As management, you must be able to tell Curry that you’re reducing salary this year to bring in a major free agent in 2011; that you have a well-thought-out PLAN to bring a WINNER to the Bay Area in the next few years. If you don’t, the price for that team is going to go down by the day. Hopefully current owner, Chris Cohan, is not too stupid to understand that.

  • Jim Henderson

    Trade Tp
    June 21st, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    “The point is what type of players we need. Turiaf V Randolph.”

    No, the point is, Randolph is not a viable option. So, in that case, the matter is simple: can Turiaf help this team (much better shot-blocker, & 9 years younger than McDyess)? And I say yes.

  • rj

    i am of fan of turiaf. good defender and excellent mid-range jump shooter. no post game, however.

    jim, i’m not sure i have asked you this before, but what is it about blair that makes you think he has “boozer-like” potential.

    i think what we saw from blair last season is what we will see for the bulk of his career. his ceiling is relatively low.

  • Tyler

    Also, via Chad Ford at ESPN, one GM’s mock draft:

    20. Spurs: Daniel Orton
    Note: The Spurs need a big man and they could rip out the heart of folks in OKC if they take Orton one pick ahead of the Thunder.

    Pretty interesting. Though we probably need a wing more than anything (assuming we bring in Splitter), taking a young big like Orton would certainly signal that we see something special. He’s certainly a top 20 talent. And it also does make some sense – we’ve been trying to move up in the draft. Indy’s #10, as has been rumored, would certainly ensure that we would be able to grab Orton, who should go somewhere in the 10-20 range. However, I’d also take everything a GM, coach, player, or agent says with a grain of salt at this point in the process. Interesting nonetheless.

  • rj

    and another thing. some much trade tp talk…

    what are the odds the sours trade george hill over TP? tony parker is unstoppable when heatlthy, experienced, and still in his prime. don’t think george hill can achieve the same level as parker.

    any thoughts? anyone?!?!?

  • Ian

    @rj – I’ve heard that the Pacers might be interested in G Hill, since Hill is their hometown kid and Pacers needing a PG and all. I’m not saying the Pacers are talking to Spurs FO for a potential trade, but rather assuming Hill could be their candidate for the PG spot. Spurs can get that #10 pick and perhaps Brandon Rush added in that trade as well if such trade would happen.
    (note: this isn’t my opinion but rather what I read from a post/article written by someone else, so this is more of a scenario than a rumor I think)

  • Hobson13

    Jim Henderson
    June 21st, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    “Number two, the Warriors cannot afford to stand pat right now, new ownership in place or not. Current management/owner needs to make moves this summer that they believe will make their team more valuable to the prospective owners.”

    Absolutely. I like the energy and passion the Warriors fans had several years ago when they beat Dallas in the 1st round. They had an INSANE atmosphere in their arena and certainly deserve better than what Don Nelson and the FO have given them over the past several years. They have some nice young pieces and are primed to get another good player at the #6 spot this year.

    With that said, you are absolutely right. They need to unload higher priced pieces (Maggette) that are too old to be building blocks. However, in order to do that, they will have to bribe a team with a piece like Azubuike. Unloading Maggette serves two purposes; #1 it makes the team more attractive to sell, #2 it clears the way to bring in a FA next summer. Common sense (and rumors) dictates that they WILL trade Maggette. The only questions are when and for what will they give up in return.

    In a few years, GS can be a good team with Ellis, Curry, Randolph, Biedrins, Morrow (assuming they resign him) and DeMarcus Cousins (assuming they get him). All of these players are fantastic young pieces that can create a good nucleus. If GS was really serious about becoming a Playoff team, they would unload Don Nelson, the worst coach in the league, and clean out their entire FO. I promise you that if Pop had all that young talent, they would be an unreal team in just a couple of years.

    I can’t wait for the draft this week. I have a feeling that the Spurs are going to make a big move in the next few days. Check out these two comments by Chad Ford.
    Comment #1 “And if the Pacers and Hornets can’t move down, they, along with the Bulls, might look to get out of the draft completely.”
    Comment #2 “From what I can gather, the Pacers, Hornets, Raptors, Spurs and Thunder are the most active right now.”

    He says the Pacers and Hornets are looking to trade won or get out so that means that the Raps, Thunder, and Spurs must super active and really be looking to move up. Something may be a brewin’.

  • Ian

    @rj – I also heard that Chad Ford recently said something along the lines of ‘Spurs will likely trade one of their two PGs (Parker and Hill) to move higher up in the draft’. I don’t put much trust into Ford’s “insider” information personally, but rumors are certainly flying around involving the Spurs and the team’s PGs.

  • Jim Henderson

    rj
    June 21st, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    RE: Blair

    Blair has a number of very basic qualities and skills at age 21 that makes me very high on his future prospects:

    (1) HE HAS TREMENDOUS DRIVE & DETERMINATION. How else do you explain a guy that had TWO twenty/twenty games at 6’6″, age 20 during a rookie season in which he only averaged 18 mpg.? NOBODY in the history of the game has ever done that.
    (2) AT AGE 20, HE HAS TREMENDOUS NATURAL INSTINCTS FOR THE GAME. How else do you explain the “50/50 ball” nemesis he was to Dallas in the playoffs, or his knack getting a key steal, or finishing around the rim?
    (3) HE HAS AWESOME HANDS. Did you ever notice how this young “tank” of ours has the softest hands you’ve probably ever seen? He simply does not drop passes, and puts the ball up on the rim/board with outstanding touch for a guy that stands 6’6″, 275 pds.
    (4) HE HAS AN AMAZINGLY POSITIVE ATTITUDE, AND A WILL TO IMPROVE AS A PLAYER, AS WELL AS A “NEED” TO “WIN”. You can tell by watching him play that he just loves to play the game. I’m sure you’ve caught his Grizzly Bear smile on numerous occasions. But I’ve also seen his competitiveness and anger about his own mistakes, which suggests to me that he has very high expectations for himself.
    (5) HE IS VERY COACHABLE. And when you have a guy like Pop & Co. doing the coaching, don’t take this quality for granted. Blair is very attentive to what the coaches are trying to accomplish, and is a very fast learner. The hardest thing for him to learn has been to avoid unnecessary fouling, but this was bound to be one of his toughest assignments, given his height disability. With his great hands though, he will learn to strip like Boozer, and become a more than adequate defender in due time.

    All of these qualities will help him greatly improve his all-around game. For example, I won’t be surprised in the least that he becomes a very solid mid-range shooter. He may even be able to develop a fade away jumper, which with his extraordinary ability to offensive rebound & score inside, would put him over the top. Plus, he has the attitude and determination to make it happen. In fact, he’s probably got a plan in the works right now to take 10,000+ mid-range jumpers during the summer. And Pop of course could help this season by showing a bit more confidence in him. Give him more minutes, and let him play through his mistakes more, while still giving him counseling. Believe me, we’ll be rewarded in spades.

    On Parker/Hill:

    First of all, they’re very different players in some important respects. Parker is great at penetrating and finishing at the rim in the half court. Hill has a great 3-point shot, and is a great finisher in transition. Hill is also a bit better defensively at the same stage of their respective careers. Parker has of course been a star on championship teams. Hill has yet to have that opportunity. It’s still too early to tell whether Hill can obtain a similar level of success as that of Parker, but obviously the bar is set pretty high.

    As far as trading Hill over Parker, there’s three principal problems with that: (1) Hill is still worth more to us than he is to other teams, and as such, we will not get us back enough in a deal for him; (2) Parker has more stature, and as a result, he could potentially get us something back that could make his loss worth it; (3) Hill is much younger, and has potentially a much longer future with the franchise. Plus, we simply don’t know quite yet where his upside will end.

  • Jim Henderson

    Hobson13
    June 21st, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    “If GS was really serious about becoming a Playoff team, they would unload Don Nelson, the worst coach in the league, and clean out their entire FO. I promise you that if Pop had all that young talent, they would be an unreal team in just a couple of years.”

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  • Jim Henderson

    td4life
    June 21st, 2010 at 1:32 am

    “….some stats for anyone who’s interested:

    Player MPG…EFF48M…PER…AFG%…(misc)…..”

    Draft Express has these stats for Splitter: ACB, 2009/10:

    MPG eff40 PER TS% eFG% BPG

    28 27 26.7 .65 .63 .8

  • Jim Henderson

    Maybe that will read better!

    MPG….. eff40….. PER….. TS%….. eFG%….. BPG

    28………… 27…….. 26.7….. 0.65…… 0.63…….. 0.8

  • td4life

    The views of the effects of the Warriors pending sale expressed by Henderson, Hobson13 are accurate assessments. The question is does the Spurs FO like this deal, or are they in love with a player in the draft that they don’t want to part with, or do they think that even with such a trade+Splitter we are not competitive with the lakers…
    Again, with Maggette in ’03 S-Jax role, as I indicated earlier in this thread I think it’s perfectly reasonable for Splitter, even at 75% of his MVP production, to be equivalent to, or better than, Nene and Okafor… and I don’t think he would be any worse than B Lopez and M Gasol, even in his first year… giving us a better 10-man rotation than we’ve had in a long while.

  • DNITCH

    Not sure if anyone else has seen this on mysa but they have this dream scenarios for all the NBA teams. They had this for the Spurs:

    “BEST DRAFT PICK: Gordon Hayward

    I have the Spurs trading up into the top 10 to grab the Butler star. There’s a feeling that Hayward might be a project for a veteran team that can work with him on his shot. The Spurs are the perfect fit.

    BEST POSSIBLE SIGNING: Jermaine O’Neal, Kyle Korver

    I’m reaching a bit here, I’m well aware. But if Richard Jefferson opts out of his contract, the Spurs are going to have some gift money to play with. O’Neal would be a great low-post partner for Duncan while Korver gives them the outside threat they need.

    BEST TRADES: The draft trade with Utah to get them to No. 9.

    DREAM STARTING FIVE: George Hill (PG), Manu Ginobili (SG), Korver (SF), Duncan (PF), O’Neal (C)”

    Now I’m not really sure how all this would work even, but would O’Neal really be a dream starting C? haha

  • Jim Henderson

    From Spurs team report:

    “It appears the Spurs will add 6-foot-11 Tiago Splitter to the roster next season. The team’s first-round pick in 2007 led Caja Laboral to the ACB (Spanish League) championship. During the ceremony to celebrate the championship, the team’s president said it is his understanding that it is Splitter’s “intent and desire” to play in the NBA next season. Splitter, 25, was voted the league’s MVP.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/teams/sas/report#notes_quotes

  • Hobson13

    Jim Henderson
    June 21st, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    “It appears the Spurs will add 6-foot-11 Tiago Splitter to the roster next season.”

    Wow. I don’t want to start counting chickens too soon, but that’s the first thing that needed to happen this summer. I sure hope we make the RJ trade to GS. That would really revamp our roster. The next few days before the draft might be interesting. It is rumored that the Spurs are looking to move up in the draft to get a big man. I wonder if the FO is still looking to move up now that Tiago is seemingly a lock. I still expect at least one big trade from the Spurs this summer. With a Tiago signing, I think it may ensure we keep Parker, unless we just get a sick trade offer (which may not be out of the question).

  • Bushka

    So many mock drafts have us grabbing a big. It’s like these guys live in a vacuum where all that matters it he roster at the end of last season.

    I have watched a heap of Splitter Video on the tube etc this last week and he is a hell of a potential big, I’d rather have him than any other C in the draft right now.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    Splitter to Spurs = Very very great news.

    A commitment before the draft is the icing on the proverbial cake. Now los Spurs can draft accordingly. So happy, so happy, so happy, so happy, so happy.

  • td4life

    “I’d rather have him than any other C in the draft right now.”

    In terms of immediate impact, he’s definitely the best fit. And Favors and Cousins were pipe dreams anyway. So, yeah, Tiago hands down, with a sigh of relief! I get that he’s not the second coming of TD, but at this point he’s better than that MySA nonsensical favorite of Jermaine O’Neal.

    On the Brazilian National Team, he’s their best player, ahead of Varejao and Nene.

    We could still use another big, but I sure as hell hope we don’t give up Parker or Hill for Murphy, unless we make some other incredible moves and unless RC and Pop are TOTALLY sold on Orton, Davis, Henry, George or whoever. I’m half expecting TP to have his best season overall next year, by showing improved shooting ability. And I am sure we are all excited to see Hill take another step forward. The GS trade scenario is hard to better, especially at this point.

  • td4life

    @Henderson & Hobson

    Oops.
    That Yahoo!Sports Splitter report is not news, it’s the same source quoted in this very 48MOH blog. I guess we got ahead of ourselves. I hope RC gets a decision from him before the draft Thursday night even if they don’t announce it until later in the summer.

  • andy

    it sounds like splitter is practically in the fold, so let’s operate on that assumption. i say we sit on the trades until the draft or afterwards.

    with splitter coming over, drafting a big man is a luxury, and should probably be reserved for the 2nd round or undrafted pickup (i’m hoping pittman comes to camp for us). there are mobile shot blockers and project bigs galore in this draft. i maintain my damion james (yeah, i pine for bowen, but james has bowen’s motor and work ethic. imagine if bowen had this kid’s athleticism!) and a mobile, p&r defending, shot blocking big with limited offense in the 2nd advocacy.

    a happy note (from June 28 issue of ESPN The Magazine, on who the draft prospects’ dream team to be picked by is):

    “Sure, many rooks (11.7%) want the Lakers to hand them a jersey. But the team most named was the Spurs, with 16.7% of the vote. Respondents point to tradition, Gregg Popovich (one of five coaches in NBA history with four league titles) and playing with 12-time All-Star Tim Duncan. ‘I want to go somewhere I can learn,’ says one great college big man.”

    oh, how good that feels.

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  • Miggy

    It’s interesting how being swept by the Suns has not played into the decision making philosophy of the dedicated contributors to this great website. It’s all about the Lakers. I personally think we would have beaten the Lakers this year much like we beat the Mavericks. We were prepared for the Lakers and the Mavericks, but the Suns? The Suns were the monkey in the wrench!?!? I hope we get Tiago.