In order to clear the necessary cap space for LaMarcus Aldridge, the San Antonio Spurs needed to trade Tiago Splitter. The 30-year-old center spent the last five seasons with the franchise, but Splitter’s $8.5 million contract made him an expendable piece.
San Antonio shipped the 7-footer to the Atlanta Hawks. However, what the Spurs received in return was unclear until the team announced official details of the trade Thursday morning.
According to the release, San Antonio acquired the rights to international prospect Georgios Printezis and a protected 2017 second-round draft pick.
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Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes the Hawks said the second-rounder is top-55 protected. As such, the Spurs very likely will not actually receive the extra draft selection.
Printezis plays for Greek team Olympiacos Piraeus. The 6’9″ forward tallied 11.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per outing last season, per RealGM.
San Antonio drafted Printezis with the 58th pick in 2007 but quickly sent him to the Toronto Raptors. The Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta have each held his rights over the last eight years.
Starting in 2012, Splitter served as a regular starter. He averaged 9.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting 54.9 percent from the field during that time. Splitter was a key piece to San Antonio’s frontcourt because of his defensive ability.
The Spurs essentially replaced Tiago Splitter with David West, who agreed to sign a veteran’s minimum contract. West will join the second unit alongside Boris Diaw because Aldridge will step into the starting lineup.