Spurs Rumors

Tiago Splitter Announces Retirement

Veteran NBA big man Tiago Splitter has decided to retire, he announced in an interview with SporTV (hat tip to HoopsHype).

Splitter, 33, has been slowed by injuries over the last two years, having been particularly bothered by hip issues. He underwent surgery on his right hip approximately two years ago, but says he was recently told by doctors that in order to continue playing, he’d need to undergo a procedure on his other hip as well.

“I am going to stop playing. It’s a decision I’ve made these past few months,” Splitter said (English translation via SporTV). “It’s not something I want, but the hip injury I’ve been having is more troublesome than we thought. It’s a difficult time because you stop doing something you’ve done a lifetime. I remember being on a basketball court as long as I remember my person. I talked to my family, my wife, everyone, and really, it’s time to hang up the sneakers.”

As recently as October, we heard that Splitter was holding out hope of an NBA return, though even at that point he admitted he was still being bothered by his health problems. The Brazilian center last suited up for the Sixers in 2016/17, appearing in eight games for the team.

Having spent seven years in the NBA, Splitter appeared in 355 regular season contests, averaging 7.9 PPG and 5.0 RPG. Although he played in Atlanta and Philadelphia, the bulk of Splitter’s NBA career came in San Antonio, where he appeared in 65 postseason games for the Spurs and won a championship in 2014.

While Splitter told SporTV that he’s not sure exactly what his next step will be, he has previously expressed an interest in coaching, and reportedly received an invitation from Gregg Popovich to work with the Spurs. Splitter, who hopes to remain involved in basketball, has also done some television work, appearing on TV Globo during the 2016 Olympics.

Aldridge Finally Feels Comfortable In San Antonio

  • Returning to the All-Star Game after a one-year absence, LaMarcus Aldridge no longer feels out of place in San Antonio, according to Tom Orborne of The San Antonio Express-News. An offseason trade request led to a heart-to-heart talk with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and sparked a resurgence in Aldridge, who has increased his scoring average by five points per game and is topping 20 PPG for the first time since leaving Portland. “The Spurs have kind of learned who I am as a person and have let me be me,” Aldridge said. “They had Tim [Duncan], who was an introvert, kind of a private person, so now they understand me better.”

Spurs Owners File For Divorce; Raise Questions About Future

Spurs chairman and co-chief executive officer Julianna Hawn Holt has filed for divorce from former chairman and CEO Peter Holt, Tom Orsborn and Patrick Danner of The San Antonio Express-News write. The couple has been married for more than 30 years and their separation has raised questions about the Spurs’ future.

Spurs OK With Quiet Deadline; Green Changes Agents

It was a quiet trade deadline in San Antonio, which is nothing new for the Spurs, who rarely shake up their roster in February. The team’s inactivity on Thursday was just fine with veterans like Tony Parker, who said prior to this year’s deadline that they’d be happy if the team stood pat, counting on Kawhi Leonard to be the major late-season addition.

“I think it is always good to stay intact,” Parker said of the Spurs’ roster, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “We went to the conference finals last year, so the biggest thing for us is not a trade but to get Kawhi back.”

  • Spurs swingman Danny Green has new representation, per Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News, who tweets that Green has left BDA Sports and signed with Roc Nation. Green could reach unrestricted free agency as early as this summer if he turns down his $10MM player option for 2018/19.

Spurs Interested In Trading For Avery Bradley

FEBRUARY 8, 8:23am: According to Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link), the Pistons discussed the possibility of trading Bradley or Stanley Johnson to San Antonio for Danny Green before including him in the Blake Griffin trade, so it makes sense that the Spurs would still have interest.

One potential deal the Spurs and Clippers have discussed is Green and a first-round pick in exchange for Bradley, league sources tell Stein (Twitter link). However, San Antonio would prefer not to part with a first-rounder, Stein adds (via Twitter).

FEBRUARY 7, 10:31pm: The Spurs have become a “trade suitor” for Clippers guard Avery Bradley, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Bradley was acquired from the Pistons last week in the deal that sent Blake Griffin to Detroit. He has an $8.8MM expiring contract and reportedly isn’t in the Clippers’ long-term plans. He has been productive in two games for L.A., playing 30 minutes per night and averaging 10.0 points.

The Spurs have been shorthanded on the wing with both Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gay sidelined by injuries. It would take Gay, Danny Green or a combination of smaller salaries to match up with Bradley’s, and the Clippers will probably want some draft assets in return.

Forbes Releases 2018 NBA Franchise Valuations

The Knicks are still reeling from Tuesday’s news that Kristaps Porzingis has suffered a torn ACL and will be sidelined for the rest of the season. While Porzingis’ injury essentially eliminates the Knicks from the playoff race in the East, team ownership can at least find some solace in the fact that the organization remains the highest-valued franchise in the NBA, according to a report from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes.

For the first time, all 30 NBA teams have a perceived worth of $1 billion or more, per Forbes’ annual report. In 2017, 18 teams had a valuation exceeding $1 billion, which was up from 13 teams in 2016 and just three teams in 2015.

The league-wide average of $1.65 billion per team is also a record, with franchise valuations up 22% in total over last year’s figures. NBA franchise values have tripled over the last five years, according to Badenhausen.

Here’s the full list of NBA franchise valuations, per Forbes:

  1. New York Knicks: $3.6 billion
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: $3.3 billion
  3. Golden State Warriors: $3.1 billion
  4. Chicago Bulls: $2.6 billion
  5. Boston Celtics: $2.5 billion
  6. Brooklyn Nets: $2.3 billion
  7. Houston Rockets: $2.2 billion
  8. Los Angeles Clippers: $2.15 billion
  9. Dallas Mavericks: $1.9 billion
  10. Miami Heat: $1.7 billion
  11. San Antonio Spurs: $1.55 billion
  12. Toronto Raptors: $1.4 billion
  13. Sacramento Kings: $1.375 billion
  14. Washington Wizards: $1.35 billion
  15. Cleveland Cavaliers: $1.325 billion
  16. Portland Trail Blazers: $1.3 billion
  17. Phoenix Suns: $1.28 billion
  18. Oklahoma City Thunder: $1.25 billion
  19. Orlando Magic: $1.225 billion
  20. Utah Jazz: $1.2 billion
  21. Philadelphia 76ers: $1.18 billion
  22. Indiana Pacers: $1.175 billion
  23. Atlanta Hawks: $1.15 billion
  24. Denver Nuggets: $1.125 billion
  25. Detroit Pistons: $1.1 billion
  26. Milwaukee Bucks: $1.075 billion
  27. Minnesota Timberwolves: $1.06 billion
  28. Charlotte Hornets: $1.05 billion
  29. Memphis Grizzlies: $1.025 billion
  30. New Orleans Pelicans: $1 billion

For comparison’s sake, Forbes’ 2017 valuations can be found right here.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/5/18

Here are Monday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers assigned swingman Glenn Robinson III to their Fort Wayne affiliate on a rehab assignment and then quickly recalled him, according the team’s website. Robinson has appeared in two G League games and is close to returning after suffering a left ankle injury during the preseason.
  • The Bulls assigned guard Cameron Payne to the Windy City Bulls, the team tweets. Payne has not played for either team this season due to a right foot injury.
  • The Lakers assigned center Thomas Bryant to the South Bay Lakers, according the G League team’s Twitter feed. Bryant has already appeared in 22 games with South Bay, averaging 19.3 PPG and 7.0 RPG.
  • The Blazers recalled rookie forward Caleb Swanigan from the Canton Charge, The Oregonian reports. Swanigan has posted averages of 14.2 PPG and 11.9 RPG in 14 G League games.
  • The Spurs recalled rookie guard Derrick White from the Austin Spurs, according to a team press release. He’s averaged 15.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 2.6 APG in 13 games with Austin.
  • The Warriors assigned center Damian Jones to their Santa Cruz affiliate, per team release. Jones has started all 33 games for the G League team, averaging 15.3 PPG and  8.0 RPG.

Pending Free Agent Tony Parker Hopes To Remain In San Antonio

Recently relegated reserve guard Tony Parker will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but the veteran is eager to remain with the Spurs if they’ll have him, Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express News writes.

My priority is to stay here. I want to stay here for sure,” Parker said before pausing and adding that it’s ultimately Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich‘s decision.

In 28 games for the Spurs this season, Parker has averaged 8.1 points and 3.9 assists. Recently, however, Parker has ceded his starting role to 21-year-old Dejounte Murray. As a starter, Parker averaged 23.8 minutes per game. In seven games off the bench, that’s dropped to 17.4 and his other stat totals have predictably dropped too.

Scotto’s Latest: Pelicans, Gordon, Carroll, Nuggets

Before sending Omer Asik to Chicago, the Pelicans explored trading the veteran center to a number of other teams, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic. League sources tells Scotto that the Hawks and Pelicans recently talked about a deal that would have sent Asik and a first-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova.

The Mavericks discussed a deal that would have seen them take on both Asik and Alexis Ajinca – along with a first-round pick – in exchange for Wesley Matthews, but Dallas was hesitant to take on two undesirable multiyear contracts, says Scotto.

Additionally, the Pelicans proposed a pair of trades to the Lakers, according to Scotto, who reports that one would have sent Asik and a first-round pick to L.A. for Jordan Clarkson, while the other would have sent Ajinca and a second-round pick to the Lakers for Julius Randle. That second deal could technically still happen, but I can’t imagine it would appeal to the Lakers.

Scotto’s piece for The Athletic is jam-packed with more noteworthy trade rumors, so let’s dive in and round up some highlights…

  • The Magic‘s front office has “left no stone unturned” as the team explores potential trades. Scotto hears that the club has even quietly gauged trade interest in Aaron Gordon, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. I imagine Orlando would require a pretty overwhelming offer to seriously consider moving Gordon.
  • Several teams have expressed interest in Nets forward DeMarre Carroll, according to Scotto, who identifies the Heat as one of those teams.
  • As we heard on Thursday, the Bulls are still very much open for business. Robin Lopez is a trade candidate, but Chicago wants a first-round pick in a deal for the veteran center, per Scotto.
  • Scotto names Malik Beasley, Kenneth Faried, and Emmanuel Mudiay as trade candidates for the Nuggets, noting that the team could be a suitor for Jazz guard Rodney Hood.
  • Hood isn’t the only Jazz guard who could be available at the deadline — Scotto hears that Utah has also explored the trade market for Ricky Rubio.
  • Several teams are monitoring Pistons forward Stanley Johnson. Scotto notes that Johnson was one player the Magic coveted when they discussed deals with Detroit earlier in the season, and adds that the Spurs have interest too.
  • Speaking of the Spurs, they’re one of the teams – as are the division-rival Mavericks – that has expressed interest in Knicks center Willy Hernangomez.
  • The Wizards are keeping an eye on the trade market and buyout market for a backup point guard, writes Scotto.
  • Fourth-year forward Noah Vonleh has been shopped by the Trail Blazers, according to Scotto. In addition to keeping tabs on DeAndre Jordan, Portland is also interested in acquiring a small forward.
  • Executives around the NBA believe that Raptors swingman Norman Powell could be a trade candidate during the offseason due to the emergence of rookie OG Anunoby.

Latest On Greg Monroe

4:20pm: Monroe, whose buyout is now official, has spoken to both the Celtics and Pelicans and could make a decision within the next 24 hours, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. If it comes down to those two teams, Monroe would have to weigh an increased role in New Orleans vs. a greater chance to win a title in Boston.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate tweeted earlier today that the acquisition of Mirotic won’t adversely affect New Orleans’ pursuit of Monroe.

11:06am: The Pelicans have gathered “significant momentum” in their pursuit of Monroe and intend to make an aggressive play for him, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. According to Wojnarowski, Pels head coach Alvin Gentry has already spoken to Monroe, who could decide on his next NBA home as soon as Friday or Saturday. Playing time will be a big factor in the veteran’s decision, Woj adds.

10:43am: The Suns and Greg Monroe reached a buyout agreement on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. However, Monroe has not yet been formally waived by Phoenix. Once he’s cut, he’ll spend two days on waivers before becoming eligible to sign with a new team, so no club with interest in the veteran center will be able to add him right away.

Still, the list of potential suitors for Monroe is growing longer. As we relayed in our initial report on Monroe’s buyout, the Celtics and Pelicans are viewed as two viable potential destinations for the big man, with the Thunder cited as a possible dark horse. TNT’s David Aldridge adds a couple more teams to that list today, tweeting that the Spurs and Wizards also have interest in Monroe.

While there are a number of teams trying to get into the mix, the buzz around the Pelicans continues to be the loudest. According to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), there’s “strong” mutual interest between the Pels and Monroe, who is a New Orleans native. With DeMarcus Cousins out for the season due to an Achilles injury, major minutes are available in New Orleans’ frontcourt — not every suitor could necessarily offer Monroe that significant a role.

Although the Pelicans could pitch Monroe on regular minutes and the idea of a homecoming, they may find themselves at a disadvantage if other teams offer the 27-year-old more than the minimum salary. New Orleans has portions of its mid-level and bi-annual exceptions available, but is only about $1.2MM away from a hard cap, limiting the team’s ability to sweeten the pot for Monroe. By comparison, a club like the Celtics could offer up to $8.4MM, the value of their disabled player exception (though I’d be very surprised if they do so).

It’s also worth noting that the Pelicans’ reported pursuit of Nikola Mirotic could be affected by how things play out with Monroe — it’s not clear if the club would have interest in adding both players.

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