LaMarcus Aldridge was once recognized as the best power forward in the NBA for his ability to score the ball from the mid-range and inside the paint. With the Portland Trail Blazers, Aldridge was a legitimate All-NBA performer and could be a number one option in an offense with ease. Unfortunately, the NBA has moved on in terms of floor spacing without any real need for big men. Aldridge has also gotten older and is not as agile as he used to be. While he has never been an outstanding athlete, Aldridge has become much slower during his time with San Antonio.
Despite this, Aldridge is still a quality player. He averaged 18.9 PPG and 7.4 RPG this season while playing 53 total games. He is a capable scorer and can be trusted as a third option or maybe even a second option for a playoff team. He just doesn't seem to fit in San Antonio, as the franchise should start a rebuild soon. Luckily, there are 5 great destinations for LaMarcus Aldridge to revive his career and be a critical part of a winning team.
5. Sacramento Kings
Trade Package: Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield for DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge
This deal would be a massive rebuild plan by the San Antonio Spurs. The key addition is Buddy Hield, who is a great shooter from deep and can be molded into a very effective two-way player in the Spurs system. Hield alongside Lonnie Walker and Derrick White is a nice core with youth and potential, while also helping San Antonio clear cap space.
For the Kings and Aldridge, this deal is simple. Sacramento has a potential All-Star in De'Aaron Fox and surrounding him with two scoring talents gives Sacramento a playoff shot next season. Marvin Bagley III is a great prospect as well, meaning the Kings have a solid starting lineup that cannot be ignored in the West. Aldridge needs a change of scenery and playing with De'Aaron Fox will certainly allow him to get easy looks in the half-court.
4. Chicago Bulls
Trade Package: Wendell Carter Jr, Coby White, and Otto Porter for LaMarcus Aldridge
The Chicago Bulls are hungry for stars, ever since Derrick Rose suffered injuries and Jimmy Butler left them. With LaMarcus Aldridge, they have a chance to start 5 players who can all space the floor at once. Lauri Markkanen is an excellent young player who can shoot and defend the rim, and Aldridge is a solid mid-range shooter who can venture out to three 3-point line when needed. The Bulls will be very interesting to watch with their 5-out system.
The Spurs get a decent return with two young players and the unfortunately average Otto Porter. White and Carter Jr help the Spurs rebuild with shooting and size respectively and increase their talent pool with young talent. San Antonio needs proper compensation when parting ways with Aldridge, and Chicago might have enough to make this deal happen.
3. Boston Celtics
Trade Package: Gordon Hayward, Robert Williams, and 26th Overall Pick for LaMarcus Aldridge
The Celtics did exceptionally well this season by making the Eastern Conference Finals, only to lose in 6 games to the rampant Miami Heat. The Celtics have a superstar in the making in Jayson Tatum and solid competitors in all spots of the floor. The only problem with Boston was their lack of talented bigs. LaMarcus Aldridge will immediately address that; giving Boston a lineup with Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and LaMarcus Aldridge. Hayward is not the same player he was before, so this deal is perfect for Aldridge to finally make an NBA Finals. The key is that Hayward has a player option, which he will obviously opt-in for.
For San Antonio, they get Gordon Hayward who just might revive his career as an All-Star again. That is not to say he had a bad season this year, putting up 17.5 PPG and 6.7 RPG in 33.5 MPG, but he needs a bit more time to get his old groove back. The 26th pick is an excellent addition to a rebuilding Spurs team, and they got a defensive big man to add to the rotation in Robert Williams. The Spurs need first-round picks and at least an All-Star in return, so Boston can manage to offer as close to that as possible.
2. Los Angeles Clippers
Trade Package: Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverley for LaMarcus Aldridge
This deal is close to a blockbuster for the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs. The Clippers basically swap out Harrell for Aldridge and add defensive irritant Patric Beverley to sweeten the deal. For the Clippers, they need to make changes after this season's disaster in the playoffs.
Kawhi Leonard is untouchable, and so is Paul George so far. Montrezl Harrell will want to get paid max money, and the Clippers will simply not want to pay him considering they have the option for extra cap space in the summer of 2022. With Leonard and George on the squad, they can add a third star in the future with more talent than what Harrell brings. Los Angeles is a landing destination for many major free agents and the Clippers know this. Patrick Beverley is a nice role player who plays hard, but perhaps Leonard and the Clippers want a change of culture and moving Beverley might be suitable.
San Antonio gets a piece in Harrell who can be there for the long-term and could get paid by San Antonio. Beverley will play solid minutes as a defensive specialist as a backup point guard, giving San Antonio two defensive players who fit their system. Harrell won the 6th Man of the Year Award this year and could be due for a chance to play as a starter and make an All-Star team in San Antonio.
1. Portland Trail Blazers
Trade Package: Hassan Whiteside, Anfernee Simons, Gary Trent Jr, and a Future 1st Round Pick for LaMarcus Aldridge
Finally, the best landing spot for LaMarcus Aldridge is in his old hometown Portland. The Trail Blazers fought tooth and nail to get back into the Playoffs this season, although they were blown out in 5 games by the Los Angeles Lakers. Led by superstar Damian Lillard, the Blazers need pieces to get back to the Western Conference Finals.
A lineup with Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Jusuf Nurkic is a real problem offensively. Aldridge will get to play with Lillard who is an exceptional scorer who demands a lot of attention on the perimeter, giving Aldridge time and space to operate on the block. Aldridge has a great chance to repeat his excellent years with Portland and help out Lillard in a bid to make an NBA Finals.
Portland has an attractive trade package with Hassan Whiteside, Anfernee Simons, Gary Trent Jr, and a first-round pick. Simons is a quality young prospect who will only get better as an overall player, while Trent Jr is an excellent shooter from deep. He will play a similar role to Bryn Forbes, although he is a better defender. The first-round pick gives San Antonio a rebuilding piece while Whiteside can be the double-double machine on a 2-year contract. The Spurs will replace Aldridge size in the paint as Whiteside is a better defender, and can be active on the boards when motivated.