Trade Breakdown | As Deadline Nears, Sixers Gain More Picks, Frontcourt Vet

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

A snapshot of the Wednesday, February 22nd trade completed between the 76ers, and Atlanta Hawks.

Incoming:
A 32-year old native of Brazil who later became a citizen of Spain, Tiago Splitter has averaged 8.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 19.4 minutes over the course of his 347-game NBA career. On the offensive end, the center / power forward has proven to be consistently efficient, manufacturing a lifetime 55.7 field goal percentage.

Splitter broke into the NBA in 2010 for San Antonio, which originally chose him 28th overall in the 2007 draft. He gravitated to American hoops on the heels of a noteworthy run in the Spanish professional ranks. Splitter was tabbed an All-Euroleague First Team selection in 2008, and was named MVP of the Spanish League in 2010.

After spending his first five NBA seasons with the Spurs, the first three of which came during Brett Brown’s tenure as a San Antonio assistant, Splitter was dealt to Atlanta - run by another former Spurs assistant, Mike Budenholzer - in July of 2015. He has yet to appear in a game this season due to injury.

In their swap with Atlanta, the Sixers also acquired future draft considerations - a guaranteed 2017 second-round pick from the Hawks (via Miami), and the opportunity to swap spots in the second round with either Atlanta, or Utah (via a previous trade), depending on which team occupies the less favorable position.

Outgoing:
Ersan Ilyasova put up the most potent scoring average of his nine-year career during his brief, yet impactful, 53-game stint with the Sixers, averaging 14.8 points in 27.3 minutes per game. He hit 107 3-pointers over the course of his time in Philadelphia as well, helping him establish a new single-season high for triples before the All-Star break.

In early December, Brett Brown suggested that - at that specific stage of the season - Ilyasova might have very well been the Sixers’ best, most steady player.

On top of the tangible contributions Ilyasova provided, the 29-year old boasted a skill set that made him an ideal frontcourt match alongside Joel Embiid, and the other members of the Sixers’ young center rotation.

Ilyasova lent valuable leadership to the Sixers’ youthful roster, doing so with a subtle, soft-spoken, yet effective approach.

“I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court," Sixers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo said Wednesday evening. "Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture.”

Quick Trade Take:
In Tiago Splitter, the Sixers will be adding another versatile, veteran contributor to an already deep frontcourt stable. Unlike Ersan Ilyasova, whose primary position is power forward, Splitter has served as a five-man for the majority of his career.

Every season that Splitter has been in the NBA, the organization to which he has belonged has reached the playoffs. He earned a championship ring with San Antonio in 2014, appearing in 23 games during the Spurs’ push. Given his experience, Splitter will bring another seasoned presence to the Sixers’ locker room.

Wednesday’s move also represents yet another boost to the Sixers’ future draft stock, bringing to two dozen the total number of potential draft picks that the club holds rights to between the 2017 and 2021 drafts.

Ilyasova, meanwhile, finds himself on the move again. The exchange between the Sixers and Hawks marked the fifth trade he has been part of in the last 20 months. His departure leaves open minutes at the power forward spot. Rookie Dario Saric is the next player on the Sixers' depth chart at the position.