Celtics Aren’t Interested in Trading for 7x NBA All-Star: Report

LaMarcus Aldridge Spurs

Getty LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs slam dunks the basketball over the Boston Celtics' Daniel Theis.

Although the Boston Celtics have done well to pull themselves back over the .500 mark, winning five of their last six games, they continue to occupy the bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoff table. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are posting big numbers and Marcus Smart is finally back, but the team clearly lacks the hands needed to challenge the league’s top teams.

Consequently, a real sense of urgency has developed around the NBA’s March 25 trade deadline within the fanbase. And Boston’s multiple owned trade exceptions have only served to heighten the desire to see some kind of movement.

One name providing intrigue for the Celtics faithful is seven-time All-Star and San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge. However, a new report has indicated that Celtics GM Danny Ainge and his brain trust aren’t currently considering a trade for Aldridge.

Celtics Not Looking to Swap with Spurs

While the Spurs are doing all they can to seek out some kind of return for Aldridge, it appears to be unlikely that they will find any takers on the trade front. Regarding the Celtics specifically, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reported on Tuesday that the team “isn’t interested” in negotiating something with San Antonio.

Conversely, the Spurs don’t want to clog up their books by bringing back any long-term salary. And matching money on Aldridge’s $24 million salary in a trade could prove difficult for some of the interested parties.

Still, the Celtics are said to be interested in pursuing Aldridge in the event that he gets bought-out of his contract. As it stands, that seems to be the likeliest course of action for San Antonio. However, Ainge and company will likely have competition in that pursuit.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are expected to join Boston in wooing the former no. 2 overall pick in the event that he is bought-out.

One thing is certain — Aldridge’s days in San Antonio are numbered. As noted by ESPN, he and the Spurs have mutually agreed that he won’t return to the team while it seeks to find a solution to his situation.

Something Left to Offer?

At one point in time, Aldridge was one of the best power forwards in the league. However, his best days are clearly well behind him. The 35-year-old is posting his most meager statistical line since his rookie campaign in 2006-07.

Over 21 appearances (18 of which were starts), Aldridge is averaging just 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest. What’s more — he has largely been a negative on the court for the Spurs this season. San Antonio has been outscored by 5.6 points per 100 possessions when he has been on the court.

When he has sat, the Spurs have posted a net rating of 2.3.

The way in which he gets his points continues to be a subject for debate as well. Although he is taking — and making — more three-point shots than ever before (nearly 38 percent on just over three attempts per game over the last two seasons), his mid-range reliance continues to be evident.

Still, he continues to be one of the best in the game at knocking down long twos. In 2020-21, he has connected on a career-best 51.8 of his attempts from between 16 and 23 feet from the hoop.

If the Celtics can live with the mid-range shots and his well-documented defensive shortcomings, he may be a player worth taking a flier on for the back half of the season.

READ NEXT: Has Harrison Barnes Been Jumped as Celtics’ Top Target?

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