Entering this offseason, the San Antonio Spurs had three big men under contract - Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw, and Matt Bonner. With such a thin front line, it was obvious that the Spurs would make restricted free agent Tiago Splitter a priority this summer. Splitter is coming off the best season of his three-year career, having averaged 10.3 points on 56% shooting with 6.4 rebounds during the 2012-13 season.
On just the second day of free agency, the Spurs made sure that the core of their frontcourt would be intact for next season, as they have agreed to sign Splitter to a four-year deal worth $36 million.
The deal comes shortly after fellow free agent power forward David West received his new contract. West got the same amount of money as Splitter, but over three years rather than four, giving him $3 million more annually.
Splitter is likely return next season as the starting frontcourt mate of Tim Duncan. Still only 28 years old, Splitter's game has been improving rapidly over his three NBA seasons, and it is completely reasonable to expect several career-highs in 2013-14.
Other teams from both the NBA and international leagues were interested in the Brazilian big man (the Trail Blazers were expected to pursue him), but the Spurs, knowing that Splitter very well may receive an offer sheet, were quick to lock him up.