Splitter will help Hawks

The Hawks acquired power forward Tiago Splitter, a player they can use. The Spurs traded Splitter to create cap room for the LaMarcus Aldridge, a player the Hawks really need. From Aldridge’s perspective, why go to Spurs East when he can join the real thing?

But Splitter is a pretty good player, certainly better than departed Hawks big man Pero Antic. The Hawks needed to upgrade their frontline and they did so with Splitter, whose strengths can help the Hawks get better (provided he stays healthy after back and calf injuries sidelined him in 2014-15).

Splitter is a very efficient scorer around the basket: last season 98.3 percent of his shot attempts were from within 10 feet, and he scored 1.07 points per possession in the post (ranked sixth-best among players with at least 10 percent of their possessions used in the post, according to NBA.com). Splitter is a good post defender, too:.63 points per possession allowed last season, according to NBA.com. Splitter had good rebounding numbers on a good rebounding team in 2014-15.

The Hawks needed a post scorer: last season they ranked 24th in post scoring efficiency and last in frequency. The Hawks were a pretty good interior defensive team last season (one of many reasons they need to re-sign Paul Millsap) and Splitter should make them better. The Hawks were not a good rebounding team last season—some of that was by design because Mike Budenholzer, like San Antonio's Gregg Popovich, generally eschews offensive rebounds in favor of limiting transition chances. But the Hawks got hammered on the defensive glass, too, and Splitter can help change that.

No word yet on what the Hawks gave the Spurs. I'm thinking it's it’s a second-round pick because the Hawks can absorb Splitter’s salary into their cap space and the Spurs are shedding payroll. Splitter is scheduled to make $16.75 million over the next two years.

Splitter obviously is not the player to put the Hawks over the top. But he's a good player, a good fit and he makes the Hawks better without blowing a hole in the salary cap. Losing DeMarre Carrol hurts (quite the market for 3-and-D wings) but Budenholzer's first move since he became president of basketball operations is a smart one.