The San Antonio Spurs signed LaMarcus Aldridge to a 4 year, 84 million dollar contract during free agency last summer.
Last season Aldridge had a productive season with the Spurs averaging 18 points a game along with 8.5 rebounds per contest. The Spurs also had a great regular season. They finished with the 2nd best record in the league with 67 wins and 15 losses
However, The Spurs struggled at times during the playoffs which lead to their early second round exit by the Oklahoma City Thunder. LaMarcus had his moments of greatness in the playoffs, but, it was times where you couldn't even find LaMarcus in the game.
Aldridge has a good season last year but he did not play up to the expectations the Spurs had for him. The issue right now is when LaMarcus agreed to sign with San Antonio he expected to have the offense centered around him.
However, with the rise of Kawhi Leonard turning into top 10 player in this league that won't be the case. It has also been reported today that Aldridge is not fitting in with the Spurs right now. San Antonio could look to trade the All-Star forward sometime before this season ends.
This was predicted by no less than America's top sportswriter Zach Lowe of ESPN. While he did take a cautious approach, he acknowledges that it's a real possibility.
"The Spurs will see if this team outperforms expectations. If it doesn't, they should take calls on Aldridge. He's really good, and there are a lot of impatient owners chasing immediate gratification. If opportunism meets desperation, the Spurs could fleece some rival and restock with a bundle of assets that better line up with Leonard's timetable," Lowe reasoned.
I will present to you the 3 best destinations for LaMarcus Aldridge.
Oklahoma City Thunder
With the big loss of Kevin Durant in free agency this offseason, the Thunder may not be a sure thing as a title contender right now. They still have a superstar in Russell Westbrook who is widely considered a top 5 player in this game. They traded for shooting guard Victory Oladipo to pair with Westbrook in the backcourt. That's an upgrade from defensive specialist Andre Roberson because Oladipo gives you more offensive help and for his two-way playing style.
For Oklahoma to pull off a trade for Aldridge, they would have to trade the contract of starting center Enes Kantar (4 years, 70 million), backup center Joffrey Lauvergne (3 years, 5 million) and a couple of draft picks should seal the deal. Paring Westbrook with Aldridge gives the Thunder that one 1-2 punch again and a better chance at challenging the likes of a Golden State, Los Angeles or San Antonio team in the Western Conference.
If the Thunder pulled this trade off, they would instantly be serious title contenders once again and one of the NBA's deadliest teams.
Right now Chicago is a decent team at best - they have some talent but, some holes to fill. This is a team that struggled heavily to find an identity last season. They have some star power with Dwayne Wade and Jimmy Butler, with an All-Star caliber point guard in Rajon Rondo.
But what else do they have? Chicago just traded for point guard Michael Carter-Williams, I don't understand the move. They are just adding another player that struggles from the perimeter and that's one of Chicago's biggest needs.
None of the players I just mentioned have shot better than 32% from the 3 point line so far in their careers. So if Chicago can't get better shooters, they should at least make an attempt to acquire Aldridge from San Antonio.
The Bulls would have an inside presence, who would take pressure off those 3 guards. However, Aldridge is going into his second year of a 4-year contract and is scheduled to be 20 million against the cap this year. So, In order for Chicago to make a deal for Aldridge, they could offer the rookie contract of Bobby Portis and forward Taj Gibson's 4 years, 33 million contract which also expires after this season.
The Chicago could throw a draft pick in if they had to as well. Let's not forget that Aldridge is a double-double machine who has All-Star caliber talent no question. If Chicago made a deal done for Aldridge, Chicago would be one of the top 4-5 teams in the East.
After being labeled as the worst franchise for the past 3 seasons, the 76ers seem to have a bright future now with 1st overall Ben Simmons who has the potential to be one of the greatest players of all time.
The 76ers also have made changes to the front office and so far they made pretty good moves in the offseason with the signings of Jared Bayless, Sergio Rodriguez, and Gerald Henderson. Those are not big names but, they are quality players.
Don't forget Joel Embiid is back, after sitting out 2 seasons and playing well during the preseason games. There have been reports that Nerlens Noel won't sign a contract extension because he's worried about the team's directions. Noel is going into his final year of his 4 years, 14 million dollar rookie contract.
The Sixers could use an All-Star talent like a Lamarcus Aldridge to pair with Ben Simmons. If I was the GM of the 76ers, I would trade Nerlens Noel, with a couple picks for LaMarcus Aldridge. He would be the number one option on offense and could help guide Ben Simmons.
Now even with this move, the 76ers are still far from championship consideration. However, you could make a case that they could make the playoffs as a 7th or 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. This is something Philadelphia should definitely think about.