7-Time NBA All-Star Ends Retirement & Eyes Brooklyn Nets Reunion

LaMarcus Aldridge

Getty LaMarcus Aldridge #21 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Barclays Center on April 01, 2021.

In the middle of last season, seven-time NBA All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge reached a buyout agreement with the San Antonio Spurs as the team was looking to rebuild for the future. This allowed Aldridge to become a free agent and sign with a title contender. While he had several suitors ultimately, he decided to sign with the Brooklyn Nets.

Aldridge was a solid and extremely necessary pick-up for the Nets as they were desperate to find some help on the interior. His signing with the Nets turned out to be a good decision for both sides. Brooklyn was able to sign the All-Star on a veteran’s minimum deal and Aldridge played well averaging 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists for the Nets. Unfortunately his stint with Brooklyn was short lived as Aldridge was forced to retire after just five games with the Nets.

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Nets Favorites to Sign LaMarcus Aldridge in Free Agency

The Nets are still looking to round off their training camp roster and the final spot may already  be spoken for as Aldridge has been fully cleared to return to basketball activities per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Brooklyn is already considered the frontrunner to sign the big man.

“Seven-time NBA All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge has been cleared to play again, passing all of the necessary tests. The Nets are leaders to sign Aldridge, sources said,” Shams tweeted on Thursday.

“Aldridge abruptly retired in mid-April due to a heart scare – but has received full medical clearance to make his return to the NBA for a 16th season, sources said.”

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Aldridge Details What Forced Him to Retire Last Season

Aldridge was forced to retire after just 5 games with the Nets due to an irregular heartbeat. In his retirement letter he describes the revelation as one of the ‘scariest’ experiences he has gone through.

“My last game, I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat. Later on, that night, my rhythm got even worse, which really worried me even more. The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great getting me to the hospital and getting me checked out,” Aldridge wrote in his farewell letter.

“Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve experienced. With that being said, I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from the NBA. For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first.”

Deandre Jordan Departure From Nets a Foregone Conclusion

With Aldridge’s sudden return to the NBA it seems as though DeAndre Jordan’s time with the Nets is all but over. Jordan was expected to be a rotation player for the Nets when he signed with with the team during 2019 free agency along with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. However, with the addition of James Harden came a much faster-paced offense and an aging Jordan was eventually phased out of the rotation.

Last week Alex Schiffer of The Athletic reported that Jordan and the Nets could reach a buyout agreement before the team jet sets to San Diego for training camp in late September.

“From what I’ve been hearing, I would be surprised if [DeAndre] Jordan is a Net by the time the team heads to San Diego for training camp. He’s already been shopped throughout the draft and offseason, and you can start to read the writing on the wall,” Schiffer wrote.

“Now, assuming he’s gone, I’m curious about the exit route. Is it a trade, when there has already been a lack of a market for him, and the Nets lack draft capital and young talent to part with for a significant return? Buyout? Waived? Regardless, I do not expect him back.”

With the recent addition of Paul Millsap and the Nets being the frontrunners for Aldridge their roster is beginning to shape up nicely. They have already addressed their biggest flaws from last season which were defense and rebounding. While it may seem like the Nets have remained relatively quiet this offseason they have quietly improved upon their roster from last season.

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