TUESDAY, 8:09am: Asked about the Real Madrid rumor by Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News, Splitter laughed them off, explaining that it sounds like a campaign promise made by a candidate for team president.
"That’s because they’re having an election," Splitter said. "Every guy who runs for club president promises to bring in this guy or that guy so they can get elected."
Of course, that doesn't mean Real Madrid won't try to make a play for Splitter, but as I suggested below, it'd be a long shot.
MONDAY, 3:59pm: Playing a major role for a Spurs team that appears Finals-bound, Tiago Splitter is building a nice case for a big payday this summer, when he becomes a restricted free agent. And it appears Splitter's suitors in July may not be limited to NBA teams. According to Spanish radio station Cadena SER (via the San Antonio Express-News), Spain's Real Madrid intends to make Splitter their top target this offseason.
While it's unlikely that Real Madrid will be able to compete financially with the offers Splitter will receive from NBA teams, the club can afford to pay more than many international teams. A year ago, Real Madrid landed NBA free agent Rudy Fernandez, signing him to a three-year deal worth nine million Euros — at the time, that translated to about $11.31MM USD.
Still, the bidding for Splitter figures to exceed that territory. Writing for the Express-News, Dan McCarney speculates that Splitter could be in line for an annual salary worth between $6MM and $10MM, and that sounds about right to me. Playing just 24.7 MPG in San Antonio in 2012/13, Splitter set career-highs in PPG (10.3), RPG (6.4), and several other categories, as well as posting an 18.7 PER. At age 28, he's in his prime, and figures to receive a nice raise on this year's $3.94MM salary.