Tiago Splitter knew that the Spurs were planning a major play in free agency and says he expected that he would be traded this past summer, observes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Sure enough, the Spurs sent him to the Hawks, and Splitter admits that leaving San Antonio was difficult to accept at first, as McDonald relays. Spurs coach/president Gregg Popovich struggled with the decision but is optimistic it’ll work out for all involved, notes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“It was very difficult,” Popovich said. “When someone is with you for a while you get close to the family. That’s the business side of the situation that shows its ugly head once in a while. If we wanted to add the talent that we added, you had to do something. You can’t pay everybody. Tiago being here in Atlanta is a perfect fit for both parties.”
The center says he’s since warmed to Atlanta, according to McDonald. See more on another player the Hawks brought in via trade this summer and other items from the Southeast Division:
- The Hawks traded for Tim Hardaway Jr. because he offers a combination of upside and experience and because they needed a backup shooting guard behind Kyle Korver, Vivlamore writes in a separate piece. He’s following Korver’s lead as he adjusts to Atlanta’s offense, which is quite different from the triangle he played in last season with the Knicks, as Vivlamore details.
- Justise Winslow isn’t the only Heat 2015 draftee making a strong impression in camp, as second-rounder Josh Richardson is showing his scoring touch and meshing with Justise Winslow, observes Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post. The Heat were shocked when Richardson, whom they pegged as the 24th-best prospect in the draft, slipped to No. 40, Lieser notes. “He’s a very competitive two-way player and you just don’t see those types of guys that often that really want to take on the challenge defensively,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Richardson. “He’ll guard multiple positions and stick his nose in their for loose balls. And offensively, he’s got nice poise.”
- Paul Pierce left a leadership void in Washington when he opted out of his Wizards contract and signed with the Clippers, and while trade acquisition Jared Dudley believes he can fill it in one regard, he likes John Wall‘s leadership by example so far, as J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic details.