Before the San Antonio Spurs game on Wednesday night, coach Gregg Popovich announced that the team and LaMarcus Aldridge has officially agreed to part ways. Now that Aldridge and the team have agreed to part ways, the Spurs are looking for possible trade destinations for him.
Aldridge has been with the Spurs since 2015 and played a pretty significant role on the team. This season is where Aldridge’s performance has started to decline. Since 2015, and not counting this year, Aldridge has averaged over 15 points per game and was playing about 30 minutes per game. This season, Aldridge just did not seem to have the same impact with the team as years pasts. This season, Aldridge is averaging 25.9 minutes per game, 13.7 points per game, and 4.5 rebounds per game.
While he might not be playing his best, Aldridge is still a 15-year NBA veteran. If he is on the right team, he can make a strong impact at either the center position or the power forward position. With his potential, Aldridge is going to drum up some interest in the trade market. There are a few possible spots he could go.
The Boston Celtics are a team that could afford Aldridge in the trade market. The Celtics have a $28.5 million trade exception that could be used for Aldridge (sportsnaut.com). Besides the financial aspect of this trade, the Celtics also need help at the center position. The Celtics’ big men, Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson, are not as efficient as Aldridge could be. Thesis is averaging 9.3 points per game and 5 rebounds per game while Thompson is 7.9 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game. Even though Aldridge is not having his best season, he may still be able to give more to the Celtics than what their current big men are producing.
Los Angeles Lakers
A trade with the Los Angeles Lakers would really end up benefitting the Spurs. For Aldridge, the Lakers would trade Talen Tucker-Horton, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Wesley Matthews, Jared Dudley and a second round pick (sportsnaut.com). The Lakers would receive Aldridge. With this trade, the Lakers would forfeit a lot of their depth and youth but they would receive the experience of Aldridge and another supplemental big man while Davis is out with an injury. With the four players from the Lakers, the Spurs could get a spark on defense with KCP, the energy from Dudley, and the youth of Tucker-Horton and Matthews.
The Dallas Mavericks have really been struggling on defense this season and acquiring Aldridge could help them on that front (sportsnaut.com). Aldridge is not playing the best defense of his career but a different big man on the court could help the Mavericks. Aldridge would also add another offensive threat for the Mavericks. The Spurs could get two veterans and a rookie to their roster which would give them leadership and a chance to develop the rookie (sportsnaut.com).
The Miami Heat are a potential candidate for a trade because they pursued Aldridge when he left the Trail Blazers in 2015 (cbssports.com). Kelly Olynyk is currently playing pretty well for the Heat but Aldridge may still be in their interest. It depends what the Heat are looking for in a player. Olynyk is playing better defense than Aldridge but Olynyk does not play the midrange game quite like Aldridge (cbssports.com). Olynyk’s contract is coming to an end so this is a time where the Heat could bring Aldridge on board and get him to play his best basketball yet.
Portland Trail Blazers
Aldridge spent his first 9 seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. This trade would be an opportunity for a reunion of Aldridge and former teammate Damian Lillard. The Blazers also have some injured bug men with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins out (cbssports.com). This means that Aldridge could have an impact as soon as he joins the Blazers, at least until the injured players return. The reunion of Lillard and Aldridge may pay off for the Blazers because they are familiar with one another. The chemistry was there before and this could reintroduce it and have a positive effect on the whole team.
Aldridge has gained a lot of interest from a number of teams. The Spurs and Aldridge seem to be collaborating to find the best fit for Aldridge and the best deal for the Spurs.