LaMarcus Aldridge Released: Spurs and former All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge have agreed to part ways, ending his time in San Antonio after six seasons. The next step for San Antonio is to work out a trade to receive some type of compensation for the veteran and avoid having to agree to a buyout. While Aldridge remains a member of the Spurs it is simply until the team finds a suitor for the seven-time All-Star.
Aldridge, 35 is in the final year of a 2 year $50 million contract with the Spurs and will be a free agent this offseason. Aldridge came to San Antonio in 2015 after signing a 4 year $84 million deal in free agency leaving Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Over his career, Aldridge has displayed one of the best mid-range games out of any big man in the league and has put together some very good seasons.
Aldridge has been performing at a high level in the NBA for a long time and in year 15 he has averaged 19.4 points per game to go along with 8.3 rebounds per game in his career. This year however Aldridge has appeared to decline averaging just 13.7 points per game his lowest since his rookie season and a career-low 4.5 rebounds per game.
Popovich on Aldridge
San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich noted that the move has nothing to do with Aldridge on or off the court and feels it is just best for both sides.
“He’s been a great teammate. No problem there,” Popovich said. “We just think this is a win-win for both LaMarcus and the club. When an opportunity arises, that’ll be up to management, his agent, and that sort of thing, and we’ll all move forward.”
Aldridge is a professional on and off the court and it appears that he will be likely to join a contender to try and finally win a championship ring. Since coming into the NBA Aldridge has been a part of some very good teams and some great playoff series, but has been unable to get over the hump.
Aldridge may be much older and out of his prime, but he brings a very valuable veteran presence anywhere he goes along with efficiency on the offensive end. Aldridge will be coveted by teams and expect teams that feel they are a piece or two away from making a run at the NBA Finals to inquire about Aldridge.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked,” Popovich said. “At this point, we’d just like to do something that will work for him as much for our club, because he deserves that.”
Teams that should try and land Aldridge
Portland Trail Blazers
Aldridge began his career in Portland and had some incredible seasons alongside star point guard Damian Lillard. Portland currently is the fifth seed in the Western Conference and is right in the middle of the action just 5.5 games back from the Utah Jazz.
Aldridge knows Portland well and his chemistry with both players and coaches in Portland making a return easier than a completely new start.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are the defending NBA Champions led by All-Stars Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Los Angeles is the third seed in the Western Conference and has struggled with the absence of Davis who has been out due to injury.
The addition of Aldridge would give the Lakers more size and depth along with another jump-shooting big man to complement Davis.
The Heat was a major suitor for Aldridge back in 2015 when he decided to sign with San Antonio. With players like Myers Leonard out for the season, Aldridge could come in and fill a key role for Miami.