Looking at the roster as of right now, depending if Splitter can show the coaching staff he's the real deal and fit into their rotations properly, he will be the starter at center this year. If he proves otherwise there is a chance that McDyess will be there starter. Right now we have a 5 big man rotation with Duncan, Splitter*, McDyess, Blair and Bonner, all players who Pop likes having out of the court (*Splitter yet to play). So it's going to be a battle for PT between all these guys except Duncan. Alot would think Bonner, but you know how Pop loves to see him out there to spread the floor for Duncan. McDyess is a saavy veteran who can also spread the floor with that pretty decent midrange shot. Splitter on the floor along with Duncan will provide the best defensive duo of the 5, any offense he can provide while on the floor will just be a plus. Blair is a solid player, but doesn't exactly mesh well when he and Duncan are on the floor at the same time, considering his skill set consists mostly of inside game.
I have high hopes for Splitter, and I do see him being our starter by atleast the All-Star break, if he doesn't right away. Me, being an honest and real Spurs fan and analyst of the team, I have realistic expectations for a young center who is going to have to adjust from the european style of ball to the NBA game.
I've heard all kinds of stat predictions for Splitter, even some that say that he will get better stats than Duncan will this coming season which I find hard to believe. My personal opinion is something like 9/8/2 for him which would be pretty solid for a first year center. We do have a good group of scorers on the team, so I can see scoring as an inconsistent stat for him personally. But he will be a key rebounder and he is known to be a good passer for his size.
While it looks like he doesn't put up super great numbers, don't forget it's a different kind of game, and his minutes were under 30 a game both seasons.
A "homer estimate" might put him at 12/9ish, with good D' and possibly an assist or two since he's a good passer. Just don't forget Duncan's going to get the majority of the inside scoring touches, and both Duncan and Blair are ferocious rebounders that will take a board or two away from Splitter per game. If Duncan goes down with an injury (has not happened often), Splitter should be much more valuble in fantasy bball.
He's still a valuble late round steal though, if people in your league are stupid and don't know who he is. But he won't give powerhouse numbers 'til next season imo.
"He's been probably the best big man over there (Europe) the last couple of years. He's a blue-collar guy is the best way to describe him. He's not going to score like a Tim Duncan, but he's going to guard, he's going to rebound, he's going to run the floor, he's a hell of a passer, just a winner. He's got that Manu Ginobili kind of spirit in him."
—Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on newcomer Tiago Splitter.