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San Antonio Spurs: Tiago Splitter Has Plenty to Live Up to in 2013

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Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

After the San Antonio Spurs failed to bring home another title last season, there were questions looming in regards to what exactly they would do with a couple of their key pieces over the offseason. Both Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter were set to be free agents this summer, and nothing had been said to give a firm declaration of what the Spurs were going to do.

In the end, both guys were re-signed and will continue their careers in San Antonio. However, both were arguably overpaid for their current production and Splitter, in particular, will have a lot to live up to in the coming season.

Splitter signed a four year contract worth $36 million to return to the Spurs. In his first two seasons with the team, he looked to be a halfway decent player but no where near what the Spurs were expecting to get out of him. Head coach Gregg Popovich could have been simply waiting for the right time to increase his minutes, though, as last year he took a big step.

In 2012, Splitter averaged 10.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in 24.7 minutes per game. In comparison to his rookie season, Splitter’s minutes were twice as many per night and for the most part were well used.

He ended the year with a PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 18.72 which is a very solid number in comparison to the minutes he plays. With that said, is he worth the $9 million per year the Spurs are paying him?

2013 will be the most important year of Splitter’s career up to this point. He will need to continue developing into a complete center especially on the defensive end. Right now, the contract still feels a little hefty. But, if the 28-year old keeps up at this pace, he could wind up proving his worth.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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