Report: Tiago Splitter finally coming to the NBA, agrees to terms with Spurs


Tsplitter.jpgTiago 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.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.