San Antonio is finalizing a five year, $45 million contract extension for center Tiago Splitter, league sources tell Y! Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2013
Wojnarowski later corrected that the deal was actually a four year, $36 million deal, which basically means they can now lock Kawhi Leonard up for five years when his contract is up.
ESPN's Marc Stein initially reported the Spurs and Splitter were headed towards a deal. The fact that it's a four year deal is a little surprising, but if you've paid attention to what starting centers have signed for over the past few years, this number is right in line with everyone else's. Last year, Omer Asik signed a three year, $25 million deal with the Houston Rockets, which averages out at $8 million a year. Given Splitter's productivity last season, an average of $9 million a year makes complete sense.
Wojnarowski added their were rumblings about Portland extending an offer sheet to Splitter which may have sped up the contract negotiations. Despite his short comings against more athletic teams, Splitter was incredibly important against the Los Angees Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies in the first round and Western Conference Finals. His work with Tim Duncan on the inside also helped the Spurs become one of the best defensive teams in the league.
The length of the contract is a little startling, but the money isn't. This is the price you pay for productive 7-footers in the league.