Celtics Could Swap Bigs, Snag 7-Time All-Star in Trade Proposal

Celtics land LaMarcus Aldridge in trade proposal

Getty LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs as he takes practice shots before his game against the Houston Rockets.

After nearly six full seasons in San Antonio, LaMarcus Aldridge’s time with the Spurs has come to an end. Head coach Gregg Popovich announced on Wednesday that the team and their 35-year-old big-man have mutually agreed to part ways.

“He’s been a great teammate. No problem there,” Popovich said of the seven-time All-Star, via AP’s Tim Reynolds. “We just think this is a win-win for both LaMarcus and the club. So when an opportunity arises, that’ll be up to management, his agent and that sort of thing, and we’ll all move forward.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that “The Spurs are engaged on several fronts with potential trades for Aldridge and believe they can find a deal—perhaps even in the next week—and avoid the need to negotiate a contract buyout.”

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Celtics Land LaMarcus Aldridge in B/R Trade Proposal

With Aldridge unquestionably on the trade market, speculation has ramped up over where he might land.

One of the teams potentially engaged in trade talks with the Spurs could be the Boston Celtics. As ESPN’s Brian Windhorst referenced on Thursday’s airing of SportsCenter, Aldridge’s $24 million salary is a difficult price tag for most teams to inherit on a rental deal (he will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason) –– yet not for the Celtics.

“There’s only a few teams that really can do it in a straight-up trade,” Windhorst said, via NESN. “One of them is the Boston Celtics with a $28 million trade exception. They could do it very easily.”

In other words, fire up the trade machines.

Upon news of the Aldridge-Spurs breakup, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz quickly mustered up a trade proposal that would send Aldridge to the Boston Celtics in a straight-up move, one University of Texas alumn for another. Check it out:

  • Boston Celtics Receive: F/C LaMarcus Aldridge
  • San Antonio Spurs Receive: C Tristan Thompson

Breaking Down a Thompson-Aldridge Trade

Thompson is a proven defensive contributor who excels on the boards and is averaging 7.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game over his first season with the Celtics. At 29 years old, he’s also six years the junior of Aldridge and comes in on a fairly team-friendly deal, being under contract at $9.7 million next season. Furthermore, Thompson is the lone player on a young Celtics roster that has ever hoisted a Larry O’Brien, winning one with Cleveland in 2016.

Yet, despite what Thompson may bring to the table, Swartz believes Aldridge’s skill set may be better-suited for Boston’s scheme –– especially offensively.

“Aldridge would provide better floor-spacing for Boston’s guards and wings and is the superior overall offensive player,” Swartz wrote. “On a team that’s still pretty young, Aldridge could be a veteran voice in a locker room that’s underperformed with a 19-17 record this season. The Celtics could use their $28.5 million trade exception to absorb Aldridge’s contract, and sending back Thompson would ensure they stay out of the luxury tax.”

Aldridge is currently averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season. He’s also developed a solid three-point shot, shooting 36.0% from beyond the arc. The veteran forward has been nicked up some this year, missing eight of San Antonio’s final 11 games prior to the All-Star break due to hip and quadriceps injuries.

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