Potential Landing Spots for San Antonio Spurs Forward LaMarcus Aldridge

The San Antonio Spurs and LaMarcus Aldridge partnership is near its end after coach Gregg Popovich announced to the media they have mutually agreed to part ways. The seven-time All-Star is on the back-end of a stellar career and is now seeking a club presumably close to winning a championship.

Averaging his lowest scoring output since his rookie season, Aldridge is posting 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds on 46.4 percent shooting and 36 percent from three. He still offers elite scoring on the block as he continues to punish opponents with his signature turn-around. Aldridge has also extended his game out to the three-point line and has proven to be above average beyond the arc. Defensively, Aldridge is slow and struggles to contain smaller players. With the league going small, it’s a major weakness in his game, and it will decline further as he ages.

With that being said, there will be a market. He still offers a scoring punch and is a big body in the middle. Let’s take a look at some potential destinations.

Potential landing spots for San Antonio Spurs LaMarcus Aldridge

Dallas Mavericks

Why Dallas Does It

The timing of Aldridge’s release is interesting and coincides with reports of the Dallas Mavericks shopping Kristaps Porzingis. There are murmurs around the league the Mavericks are looking to offload Porzingis to open up cap space for 2021. While a deal at this juncture would hurt Dallas’ chances of a higher seed, their focus should be on the future. Surrounding franchise superstar Luka Doncic with elite talent is a must.

Adding Aldridge and Patty Mills gives the Mavericks scoring they desperately need. Doncic is amazing but a heliocentric offense is prone to becoming static. Aldridge can still get his shot off in the post and Mills is a terrific perimeter shooting guard. Additionally, their deals both come off the books, opening close to $30-million in 2021.

Why San Antonio Does It

The Spurs have excellent guards and wings on its roster but lack a legitimate stretch big to pair with them. Jakob Poeltl is an excellent, old-fashioned big man who does all the little things but his lack of shot hurts. Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker aren’t great shooters from deep. Porzingis opens the lane for their guards to penetrate and kick. Porzingis is slow-footed but the Spurs run an excellent defensive system that can cover his short-comings as he becomes fully healthy.

Boston Celtics

Why Boston Does It

Boston desperately needs to find another source of offense outside of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. The Celtics offense is awfully stagnant with a lack of penetration and ball movement. While Aldridge doesn’t cure these, he does open the floor for Boston’s other stars. He is still capable of scoring on the block and is a reasonably good passer out of the post if a double comes. The Celtics rank 11th in three-point percentage but only take 32.7 per game (22nd). He is also a big body and would solidify a nice rotation with Daniel Theiss.

Why San Antonio Does It

In this scenario, San Antonio doesn’t need to take anything back but acquiring two bigs in Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams is ideal moving forward. The Spurs have a roster laden with guards but devoid of big men. Thompson is a throw-in here but Grant is the major draw. He is an undersized big man but shown impressive defensive chops, motor, and physicality. His offensive game is in progress but he could develop into a nice small-ball five.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Why Oklahoma City Does It

This is a rebuilding season for the Oklahoma City Thunder and they are preparing themselves for the future. They currently sit in 11th with a 14-21 record and are caught in the dreaded middle-ground. In order to ensure the season is a success, the Thunder might look to trade off all its vets. In this deal, they acquire Aldridge.

However, it’s likely the Thunder will cut bait with the big man and allow him to hit free agency. This is a money-saving move.

Why San Antonio Does It

The Spurs sit 6th in the Western Conference and are looking to make the post-season. Al Horford is having a resurgent season, averaging 14 points and 6.7 rebounds on 44 percent shooting and 35.6 percent from three. One of Horford’s biggest attributes is his ability to play inside-out.

San Antonio possesses a guard-laden roster with a number of young up-and-comers on the roster. However, they all struggle to shoot the three. Horford opens the floor for driving lanes and he is also a terrific ball mover. If the outside shot isn’t falling, Horford can go down low and get an easy bucket when required. His contract is steep but what he brings to the table will be enticing.

Final Thoughts

The possibility of Aldridge landing on a contender is very high, especially if he is allowed to test the market and choose where he wants to go. He may not be what he once was but he is capable of scoring 30 on any given night.

Aldridge’s best days are behind him but whoever lands his services, will be happy with the results.

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