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Traded Tiago Splitter sees Spurs as " the favorites to win the title”

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs-Game Six

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs-Game Six

NBAE/Getty Images

Tiago Splitter has a championship ring, one he earned as the starting center for the San Antonio Spurs two seasons ago. He fit well next to Tim Duncan and in the Spurs ball-movement offense.

But to get LaMarcus Aldridge the Spurs had to clear some cap space, so Splitter was traded to Atlanta (where former Spurs’ assistant Mike Budenholzer runs a similar offense, so Splitter will fit right in). He wasn’t happy about it, but in speaking to Lange Green at Basketball Insiders he also doesn’t blame San Antonio.

“It’s a great squad,” Splitter told Basketball Insiders of his old unit in San Antonio. “On paper they are the favorites to win the title. They have David West. They have LaMarcus Aldridge. Of course, Tim [Duncan]. Just a great frontcourt over there. They are a very talented team. Of course you have to see how things work out for them on the practical side of the game, but on the interior they have a great team.”

It’s a business, and Splitter knows that. He is a quality NBA big man, but Aldridge is an elite player and a clear upgrade for the Spurs. Aldridge is their best isolation player now, a guy the Spurs can throw the ball to and say “get us a bucket.” They made the smart move and Splitter gets it.

That Spurs front line is will need to adjust a little — both Duncan and Aldridge prefer to be on the left block — but it’s up there with the best in the NBA. And they are serious title contenders, if Tony Parker can hold it together.