San Antonio Spurs: Options To Replace Tiago Splitter

By George Middleton

Mar 24, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs center

Tiago Splitter

(22) is called for an offensive foul on Dallas Mavericks center

Tyson Chandler

(6) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks won 101-94. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs traded Tiago Splitter to the Atlanta Hawks to clear cap space for free-agent signings. The move is expected to clear the Spurs $8.5 million, as Splitter has two-years $17 million left on his contract.

The move made it easier for the Spurs to bring back Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Tim Duncan. The Spurs are also in the race to land all-star LaMarcus Aldridge.

Splitter averaged 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Spurs last season. Splitter missed 30 games in the regular season, as he battled calf injuries.

If the Spurs fail to bring in Aldridge, they must go after the lesser talked about free-agents.

The first option is former all-star David West. There are reports indicating that West will choose between the Spurs and the Wizards. West averaged 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. West is a much better offensive player than Splitter, but isn’t quite the defender. If West comes to the Spurs, Tim Duncan will play a lot of center.

Another option to replace Splitter is Kosta Koufos. Koufos, like Splitter specializes at defending inside. Koufos didn’t have as much of an opportunity as Splitter, as he played behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.

Koufos averaged 5.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 16.6 minutes. The 26-year old also played 81 games, which shows he’s not injury prone. I’m assuming the Spurs would have to pay Koufos in the range of $6-8 million a year.

Bismack Biyombo is also a good option for the Spurs. Biyombo is raw, but he is a good defender. The 22-year old averaged 4.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 19.4 minutes. Biyombo is a better shot-blocker and rebounder than Splitter and Koufos. I believe Biyombo’s contract will consist of around $5-6 million per year.

Amar’e Stoudemire, Quincy Acy, Luis Scola, and Henry Sims are also options.

Next: LaMarcus Aldridge, the Future?