This past week San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich met with the media and revealed that the team would look to trade big man LaMarcus Aldridge.
“LaMarcus is not with the team,” he said. “He’s healthy, in that respect, but we’ve mutually agreed to work out some opportunities for him, and that’ll be elsewhere. So he won’t be with the team moving forward.”
This marked an unceremonious end to Aldridge’s sixth season in San Antonio – a run more known for its undelivered promise that any sort of substantive results.
So far this year Aldridge has averaged 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game. The rebounding total is a career low, whereas the points are his fewest since his rookie campaign with the Portland Trail Blazers back in 2006.
In the three games that took place before the All-Star break, San Antonio shifted Aldridge to the bench. Clearly the team is moving on.
Given where the 35-year-old currently is in his career, there are only a handful of trade destinations that currently make sense for him.
Two, to be exact.
According to Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype, the Miami Heat are intrigued by the prospect of adding Aldridge to the roster.
“Miami has also dangled veterans Avery Bradley, Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard to match salaries as part of a trade package for San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge,” he wrote. “The Heat would also have to add another minimum contract such as either Chris Silva or KZ Okpala and draft pick compensation to make a trade worthwhile for San Antonio.”
The other potential landing spot for Aldridge? The New York Knicks.
“The Knicks are ahead of schedule right now, currently sitting at No. 7 in the East with a 19-19 record,” wrote Nekias Duncan of BasketballNews.com. “They’re headlined by a top-five defense and held back by a bottom-10 offense. Aldridge represents a near-perfect storm as a potential trade target: he’s a name, fills a need (frontcourt spacing), wouldn’t cost a core piece, wouldn’t cut into future cap space and could make life easier on the young players that matter.”
The Spurs are an interesting place right now. Clearly Popovich doesn’t have enough years left in his career for a lengthy rebuild, and yet the team has to get rid of its two biggest names in order to escape its current perpetually middling status.
These days a team once known for constantly being in championship contention is more recognizable for its gripes over All-Star game selections and backseat driving of how other organizations handle their business.
It seems like its slowly sinking in that the Spurs need to reshuffle the roster if the organization wants to change its fortunes. Moving Aldridge is a good start.
Will the front office be able to get something done before the trade deadline on March 25? Time will tell.
Kevin Durant doesn’t miss. https://t.co/gKmHI7yGne
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 14, 2021