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Tiago Splitter Assigned to 87ers

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The former Hawk makes his next step towards returning.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Tiago Splitter has been assigned to the Delaware 87ers of the Development League, per a team report. The Sixers indicated that “the assignment is the next step in Splitter's return to play protocol and will begin with his participation in a full practice with the Sevens.”

Splitter was acquired the day before this season’s trade deadline along with what will likely amount to the Heat’s 2018 second-round pick and a swap of second rounders in the Sixers’ favor for impending free agent power forward Ersan Ilyasova.

I had assumed that Splitter wouldn’t play for the remainder of the season when the Sixers traded for the Brazilian big man given that they already had four centers on the roster at that point, but with Joel Embiid out for the season, Nerlens Noel in Dallas, and Jahlil Okafor dealing with a nagging knee injury, his presence may actually be needed now.

It might be time to sound the tank alarm with a 32-year-old center, who hasn’t played in a game since January 31, 2016 with the Atlanta Hawks, suiting up for the team. Hip and calf injuries have kept Splitter sidelined since then.