JULY 13TH: The Spurs announced via press release that the deal has been finalized.
JULY 2ND, 3:49pm: The Spurs and Splitter have reached an agreement in principle, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
3:06pm: There won't be a fifth year in the Spurs' deal with Splitter, tweets Wojnarowski. However, the average annual salary will stay the same, meaning the agreement figures to be for four years and $36MM+.
2:44pm: The Spurs are putting the finishing touches on an agreement that will keep Tiago Splitter under contract for five more years, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). The deal will be worth about $45MM, according to Wojnarowski. ESPN.com's Marc Stein first reported that the two sides had "ramped up" negotiations and were expecting to reach an agreement soon, with other potential suitors falling off.
According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the Trail Blazers figured to be one of those rival suitors for Splitter. With the threat of a significant offer sheet from Portland looming, the Spurs decided to make a preemptive strike, working out an agreement with Splitter before he had the opportunity to sign a lucrative offer from the Blazers.
As I noted in that earlier post, an agreement with Splitter may signal that the Spurs don't expect to use room under the cap this summer. With close to $42MM in salary commitments heading into July, a new deal for Splitter and a new contract for Manu Ginobili would use up a good chunk of San Antonio's potential space, even assuming Ginobili takes a significant pay cut. At that point, the team would likely just have the mid-level exception to spend on other free agents.
Splitter, 28, has improved his production in each of his three NBA seasons, playing a career-high 24.7 minutes per contest in 81 games in 2012/13. The Arn Tellem client averaged 10.3 PPG and 6.4 RPG while shooting 56.0% from the field as a frequent starter in the Spurs' frontcourt.