Spurs center Tiago Splitter is headed overseas because of the lockout, and guard is being recruited like a blue-chip prep prospect.
One season removed from being Most Valuable Player of the , the website of ACB team Valencia BC reported Wednesday that Splitter has agreed to join the team. His contract will have an out clause allowing his return to the Spurs should the lockout end in time for the 2011-12 NBA season to commence.
Though Ginobili, the All-Star guard, has said he would not consider playing overseas unless, and until, the entire NBA season is canceled, he has gotten offers from European teams on a daily basis, according to his agent.
“Nothing is imminent,” , Ginobili’s Chicago-based agent reported, via text message, “although we field inquiries from European teams every day.”
Ginobili offered Splitter congratulations for his signing in Valencia via a Twitter posting.
Splitter averaged 4.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 61 games as a Spurs rookie. At the FIBA Americas tournament in Argentina in September, he helped Brazil capture the silver medal and a berth in the 2012 Olympic tournament.
He will join 2009 Spurs draftee Nando de Colo on the Valencia roster.
Splitter will be the fifth Spurs player venturing overseas during the lockout, now 140 days old and awash in litigation after the disbanding of the players union on Monday. Three-time All-Star point guard is the most prominent Spur playing in Europe, leading ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne in France. Parker is part-owner of the team.
Forward DeJuan Blair signed with Krasnye Krylya, in Samara, Russia, but was released by the team in mid-October.
Also playing overseas are swingman in Slovenia and point guard Chris Quinn for Khimki Moscow.
Attorneys who represent the trade association that has replaced the in dealings with the NBA on Tuesday filed an antitrust suit against the league in federal court in San Francisco. A second, similar suit was filed in federal court in Minnesota.
Player representatives from 27 of the 30 NBA teams met Monday in New York and voted unanimously to reject a proposal from the league for a new collective bargaining agreement. They then voted to disclaim interest in bargaining, disbanding as a union and becoming a trade association.