Spurs still looking to Brazil for savior

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Interesting tweet from TrueHoop’s Henry Abbot last night:

R.C. Buford says on TV that the Spurs hope/plan to have Tiago Splitter next year, and that he’s somewhat like Anderson Varejao.

That may be far more hope than plan for the Spurs GM. Unless Splitter wants to play in the NBA so badly he’s willing to take a healthy pay cut.

Splitter, at 6’11”, is widely regarded as the best center playing in Europe right now and he would add another quality big man the Spurs desperately need, not to mention an injection of youth. He would fit well along with Tony Parker and Manu Ginolbili with an inside/outside game. He would be a better Varejao, most likely, with more offensive potential.

But unless the salary cap comes in higher than expected the most the Spurs can offer him this summer is the mid-level exception, so a little more than $5 million, which is less than he’s making now with Tau Ceramica of the Spanish league. So a pay cut this year, then there is a looming lockout for the 2011 season when Splitter could make nothing.

What exactly is his motivation to come to the NBA right now again? But Buford knows, hope is a powerful thing. So he holds it out there for the fan base.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.