One great potential TPE candidate for the Boston Celtics is a decorated All-NBA Team veteran out West whose dynamic skillsets may be better served playing for the likes of Brad Stevens, even if his best playing days are behind him.
Although the NBA trade deadline isn’t until March 25, all eyes will be focused on Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and his hard-earned Traded Player Exception within the next coming weeks.
Gary Washburn On LaMarcus Aldridge: ‘Provides A Perimeter And Post Threat The Celtics Don’t Have’
With that, Boston Globe’s Celtics & NBA writer Gary Washburn proposed the Celtics pursue San Antonio Spurs veteran center LaMarcus Aldridge; a player who’s in the final year of his contract but is someone Washburn believes is worth the risk.
“Aldridge is 35 and having a poor year but he’s in the final year of his contract and provides a perimeter and post threat the Celtics don’t have,” Washburn wrote. “The Celtics could consider the season a statistical exception and take a flier on Aldridge. Also, he is unlikely to demand anything close to the $24 million he’s making this season, giving the Celtics a solid opportunity to bring him back, if they’re interested.”
Addressing the short and long-term concerns currently plaguing Celtics’ frontcourt via its TPE is an ideal approach for Ainge. Adding Aldridge, a capable post scoring big man whose offense extends to beyond the 3-point arc and can defend on the opposite end, would add much-needed depth for Stevens at the center position.
Is LaMarcus Aldridge’s Slow Start Fatigue Or Mean It’s Time For A Change In Scenery?
This season, LaMarcus is averaging 14.4 points, 4.7 rebounds – the lowest averages since his rookie season with the Portland Trail Blazers. The seven-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA member still has plenty left in his tank.
Although the days of averaging 20-and-10 are behind him, Aldridge’s part in a reduced role in Boston could make a significant difference in the postseason, Washburn explains why.
“Aldridge scored 49 points at TD Garden a few years ago and it’s uncertain whether his low scoring average and shooting percentage is age or fatigue with San Antonio’s system,” Washburn wrote. “He dropped 22 points in Monday’s win at Portland and scored a season-high 28 points against the Lakers Jan. 7, so the game is still there, it may not just come as often.”
After a 2-4 start to the season, the Spurs (8-6) are now over .500 and are currently fifth in the Western Conference. This doesn’t bode well for the Celtics.
If a playoff run is in the cards for the Spurs, San Antonio will, most likely, not entertain the idea of parting ways with Aldridge for modest compensation, which is, the best the Celtics are willing to offer, right now. LaMarcus’ expiring deal does help Boston.
However, it may take a trade demand from Aldridge to truly get the ball rolling, unless the Spurs fall out of the Western Conference playoff picture altogether and come to the realization that it’s time to press the reset button.