The San Antonio Spurs and LaMarcus Aldridge have mutually decided to part ways, which means the seven-time All-Star is officially on the market.
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.”
The veteran Spurs star is receiving interest from multiple teams, including the Miami Heat, who’ve been interested in Aldridge since 2015.
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As Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported back in October, while Aldridge is “no longer the All-Star that Pat Riley took to dinner five years ago… even at 35, he’s still quite effective, averaging 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds last season and shooting 38.9 percent on threes. If the top names on Miami’s 2021 priority list don’t materialize, Aldridge would be a possibility on a one-year deal.”
On Wednesday, Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman reported that their interest in the former first-round pick has not faded. He tweeted, “LaMarcus Aldridge figures to have major ripples with power-hungry teams, Heat included. Remember, Pat Riley tried to get Aldridge to defer free-agent move to San Antonio when Heat lacked cap space in 2015.”
Is Aldridge Worth Being a $24 Million Rental for the Heat?
As for the 20202-2021 NBA season, Aldridge is averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Aldridge, who is in the final year of his contract, which is worth $24 million this season, and because of the high salary, it may be difficult for the Spurs to find a trade for Aldridge.
The 6-foot-11 veteran would be an expensive high-end rental, which greatly narrows down the playing field. ESPN’s Adrian 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,” 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?”
Heat Have Been Linked to At Least Other 11 Free Agents
Name an available forward becoming available, and there’s likely a report linking them to the Heat. The franchise is trying to avoid the embarrassment of coming off an NBA Finals run only to miss out on the playoffs entirely the following season.
The Heat have their eyes on more than a few players around the league. Big names tossed around thus far include:
- Houston Rockets’ DeMarcus Cousins, P.J. Tucker, and Victor Oladipo
- Sacramento Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica
- San Antonio Spurs’ Rudy Gay
- Cleveland Cavaliers’ Andre Drummond
- Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry
- New Orleans Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball
- Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins
- Chicago Bulls’ Thaddeus Young and Otto Porter Jr.
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