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Report: Hawks’ Tiago Splitter undergoing season-ending surgery

Atlanta Hawks v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 18: Tiago Splitter #11 of the Atlanta Hawks looks on during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on December 18, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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The Hawks were already predisposed not to trade Al Horford.

This will give them even more reason to keep their starting center.

Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Tiago Splitter is a nice backup center, and Atlanta’s ratings on both ends improved with him going from off the court to on:

  • Offensive: 103.0 to 103.5
  • Defensive: 101.4 94.2
  • Net: +1.7 to +9.3

The Hawks were obviously selective with when they deployed Splitter, a far more traditional center than Horford. But losing Splitter removes the versatility to use bigger lineups.

Splitter, 31, had shown signs of aging – a drop in rebounding, drawing fewer fouls and committing more. This hip surgery could indicate a decline in athleticism that limits him going forward. But he was still helping a team capable of winning a couple playoff series now.

Losing Splitter, who’ll making $8.55 million next season in the final year of his contract, probably isn’t enough to drastically change Atlanta’s plans. But this setback also makes winning in the postseason a little more difficult.