The San Antonio Spurs and LaMarcus Aldridge have mutually decided to part ways, which means the seven-time All-Star is officially on the trade market. The Miami Heat is not just interested in Aldridge, they’ve already made an offer, according to the latest report.
League sources told Hoopshype.com‘s Michael Scotto, “Miami has dangled veterans Avery Bradley, Maurice Harkless, and Meyers Leonard to match salaries as part of a trade package for San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge.”
“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,” Sotto added.
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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on March 10, “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.”
Is Aldridge Worth a $24 Million Rental for the Heat?
As for the 2020-2021 NBA season, Aldridge is having one of the worst campaigns of his career, averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Because Aldridge is making $24 million in salary this season (the final year on his contract), it may be difficult for the Spurs to find a trade for the former No. 2 overall draft pick before the March 25 trade deadline.
That could force San Antonio into a contract buyout, which would make him an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any team.
The 6-foot-11 veteran would be an expensive high-end rental, which greatly narrows down the playing field. Wojnarowski tweeted, “There’s a level of confidence that a trade partner will be found for Aldridge — perhaps even in the next week — and no movement toward a contract buyout, sources tell ESPN.”
“Aldridge earning $24M this season in final year of deal,” Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman tweeted. “Heat have cap filler (Leonard, Olynyk, Iguodala) to make deal work under cap, but how much of an asset for a rental, unless there is indication of a re-up? Herro? Nunn? Robinson? Achiuwa?”
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The Miami Heat Face Big Competition for Aldridge
Before Bradley, Harkless, and Leonard start packing their bags, Miami is facing serious competition in acquiring Aldridge. Scotto wrote:
Some executives around the league who spoke with HoopsHype believe the Boston Celtics could join the mix to acquire Aldridge using their $28.5 million trade exception despite Danny Ainge recently suggesting the team will most likely use the exception during the offseason. Aldridge earns $24 million this season. The Celtics are roughly $19.9 million below the hard cap and would need to send out $4.1 million in salary to San Antonio to stay below the hard cap according to our salary cap expert Yossi Gozlan.
KENS 5 reporter Tom Petrini tweeted on March 10 tweeting that head coach “Gregg Popovich says LaMarcus Aldridge is not with the Spurs, he’s healthy, but they have officially agreed to work on some opportunities to move him elsewhere.”