Jul 9, 2010, 6:45 PM EDT
Tiago Splitter may not be but a blip on the average NBA fan’s radar, but he’s about to step into one of the finest organizations in the sport with the potential to make a huge impact. After much delay, Splitter will finally join the Spurs, according to a report by The Ticket 760 in San Antonio, giving Tim Duncan a proper big man running mate for the first time in a long while.
Even if Splitter doesn’t quite make headlines in the LeBron aftermath, this is a huge signing for the Spurs. Antonio McDyess’ season wasn’t all that productive, and as impressive as DeJuan Blair may be, he was never the ideal candidate for a full-time gig at Duncan’s side. Tiago’s perfect for the job, and so much a stylistic fit for the Spurs that it’s sickening.
Splitter’s signing may not be earth-shaking, but it does have legitimate implications for the rest of the conference. Maybe the rest of the West’s second-tier teams won’t be goaded into making reactionary moves in the coming days, but the stability and depth the Spurs just picked up mandates their inclusion in any NBA outlook. Gregg Popovich’s big three may have one more run in them yet, and with Splitter, Blair, an emerging George Hill, and possibly another acquisition in tow, San Antonio has quietly created a team reminiscent of their title-winning roots.
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