Tiago headed to Spain; Manu being wooed

Spurs center Tiago Splitter is headed overseas because of the NBA lockout and guard Manu Ginobili  is being recruited like a blue chip prep prospect.

One season removed from being Most Valuable Player of the Spanish ACB League, 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.

Although Ginobili has said he would not consider playing overseas until the entire NBA season is canceled, his agent said he received offers from European teams on a daily basis.

“Noting is imminent,” Herb Rudoy, 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 on Wednesday.

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 embroiled in litigation after the disbanding of the players union on Monday. Three-time All-Star point guard Tony Parker 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 swing man Danny Green, playing in Slovenia, and point guard Chris Quinn, playing for Khimki Moscow.

Attorneys who now represent the trade association that has replaced the National Basketball Players Association in dealings with the NBA on Tuesday field an antitrust suit against the league in the Northern District of California. A second, similar suit was filed in the Minnesota District.

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 become a trade association.

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