The Hawks‘ Tiago Splitter may miss the start of next season after having surgery on his right hip, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The procedure will be performed Thursday, and Splitter estimates it will take “eight months, at least” to recover, which means he won’t be able to represent Brazil in the Summer Olympics. “I just got here this season and I wanted to help this team more” said Splitter, who was acquired from the Spurs in a July trade. “I wasn’t able to perform 100%, that’s for sure. I’ve been feeling this pain, you guys know, for some time. We tried several techniques and treatments. It ended up being I need the surgery. I hope it goes fast and I’m ready to play again.” Splitter will make $8.25MM next season on the final year of his contract.
There’s more from the Southeast Division on the eve of the trade deadline:
- Trade rumors have swirled around the Hawks as much as any team during the past month, and coach/executive Mike Budenholzer isn’t offering any hints about whether a deal for Al Horford or Jeff Teague is in the works, as Vivlamore notes in a separate piece. “We are very happy with our group,” Budenholzer said. “We feel strongly about them. I’ve been protective of them and would expect to continue to be that. You never know what can happen.”
- The Hornets will likely present Nicolas Batum with a full max offer on the first day of free agency, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, passing on a prediction from ESPN cap expert Tom Penn. It’s the only way Charlotte can keep him, Penn said (Twitter link).
- The Hornets hope to welcome back center Al Jefferson this weekend, Bonnell tweets. Jefferson hasn’t played since undergoing arthroscopic surgery after suffering a tear in the lateral meniscus of his right knee in late December.
- The Magic’s Channing Frye takes trade deadline talk in stride, tweets Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. The Clippers are reportedly close to a deal that would bring the veteran power forward to L.A. “It’s not my first time being on the trading block,” Frye said. “… I was supposed to get traded at the beginning of the season. I was supposed to get traded last year.”
- Wizards center Marcin Gortat has officially chosen Todd Ramasar as his new agent, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.