John Canzano of The Oregonian reports that the Portland Trail Blazers are interested in two centers who are set to become restricted free agents this summer.
A league source said on Monday that the Blazers, who hold the No. 10 pick in the first round, have interest in two restricted free-agent centers: San Antonio's Tiago Splitter and Minnesota's Nikola Pekovic.
Dave recently posted his thoughts on both Splitter and Pekovic right here.
Nikola Pekovic, Restricted Free Agent, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Blazers may still have enough cap space to make the 'Wolves sweat a huge offer for Pek, but even if Minnesota didn't match he'd be Portland's only signing above the veteran minimum level. Is he worth it? He's the right size and plays a nifty, old-school offense. He also rebounds exceptionally well on the offensive end. Defensive rebounding and defense, period, remain questions. Add in the fact that Minny would likely match an offer and this is becoming an increasingly unlikely match for Portland.
Tiago Splitter, Restricted Free Agent, San Antonio Spurs
Splitter would be a great pick-up as long as Portland also had a bigger center in reserve for use against huge opponents. Defensive rebounding is his biggest issue. He's not a shot-blocker. But his defense is rock solid his offense is efficient without being demanding and his offensive rebounding is strong. He plays smart and would fit in on either end, up to and including spelling Aldridge and providing an insurance policy against his departure. Unless they win another World Title this year, the Spurs should probably consider Splitter expendable at a certain price level, as he's not the kind of player you'd rebuild around. The problem is that price level is likely to be high. It'd take all of Portland's cap money to approach it and Splitter is neither complete enough nor enough of a true center to warrant putting all your eggs in his basket. It would be a beautiful move but ultimately it's probably not affordable.
Splitter, 28, averaged 10.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in 81 games for the San Antonio Spurs this season.
Pekovic, 27, averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 62 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season.
Pekovic has been linked in rumors with the Blazers for almost a year now.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter