LaMarcus Aldridge is a consistent big man who has averaged 13.7 PPG and 4.5 RPG so far this season. He is playing the lowest minutes of his career. Aldridge still has something left in the tank though, and he is a talented player who would be an X-factor in the playoffs. He could provide some scoring from either big man spot, and provide a different dimension to his offense.
Recently, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has revealed that the San Antonio Spurs will part ways with LaMarcus Aldridge. That means that he will find a new team, quite possibly very soon. The team would likely be contenders, given that Aldridge is an older player who hasn't won a championship yet, and he would likely go to a team that can compete in the playoffs. Here are the 5 best destinations for LaMarcus Aldridge.
5. Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Receive: LaMarcus Aldridge
San Antonio Spurs Receive: Dwight Powell, James Johnson, a future first-round pick
For the Dallas Mavericks, this move could signal the intent to continue to surround Luka Doncic with elite talent. That roster could also use a veteran who could steer them in the right direction, as they are currently a low playoff seed, sitting at the 8th seed in the Western Conference. LaMarcus Aldridge could provide a very consistent interior presence, and he would perhaps fit as the third offensive option behind Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. His mentorship could be crucial on a team with a young superstar: we've seen many players praise the veterans that helped them early in their career.
On the San Antonio Spurs' end, this deal would allow them to get a future first-round pick for Aldridge's expiring contract. They would also get a solid big man in Dwight Powell in return, as well as James Johnson's expiring contract. This would be a good trade for them, as it gives them a first-round pick for an older player, allowing them to retool.
4. Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics Receive: LaMarcus Aldridge
San Antonio Spurs Receive: Tristan Thompson, Daniel Theis, Grant Williams, a future second-round pick
The Boston Celtics have been linked with two big men in recent memory, Nikola Vucevic and Jerami Grant. Both are solid big men who provide some size for their roster and are useful on both ends of the floor due to their offensive skill sets. LaMarcus Aldridge is an older player than both of them, but he does provide both of those things. Aldridge is shooting a career-high 3.6 attempts from beyond the arc, converting them at a 36.0% mark. That is good shooting for a center and would be useful in spacing the floor next to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. LaMarcus Aldridge would also command fewer assets in a trade, due to his contract status and age.
The San Antonio Spurs would receive some solid veterans in return for Aldridge. Both Tristan Thompson and Daniel Theis are capable big men who can provide quality minutes at the center position. Daniel Theis will be a free agent at the end of the season, meaning that the Spurs could choose to sign him to a new deal if he performs, or let him go if he doesn't. Grant Williams is the young piece that would go out in the Aldridge trade: Williams is a solid multipositional defender who can also shoot the 3PT shot. 3 and D players are valuable on any roster, and perhaps the San Antonio Spurs development system will work its magic on Williams as it did on others, improving his game. The future second-round pick is the sweetener in this deal to push it over the finish line.
3. Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: LaMarcus Aldridge
San Antonio Spurs Receive: Ivica Zubac, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Terance Mann
The Los Angeles Clippers have a solid enough roster, but trading for more offensive firepower wouldn't be the worst move in the world. LaMarcus Aldridge could become a 6th man for the Clippers, lighting up opposing bench units with his offense. He would also provide a big body for when the Los Angeles Clippers face off against teams with talented big men, such as the Denver Nuggets with Nikola Jokic. LaMarcus Aldridge would allow them to address specific matchups in the playoffs, while also providing a solid two-way presence on the squad.
The Los Angeles Clippers would have to give up a quartet of players for this trade. Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams are both elite veterans. Patrick Beverley is amazing on defense, while Lou Williams is a consistent scorer. Ivica Zubac is a talented big man who is getting limited minutes on the Clippers' roster. On the San Antonio Spurs, he could potentially get the minutes that he needs to continue his development. Terance Mann is a younger player who can provide some floor spacing. This trade gives the Spurs a solid amount of players to work with, in the present and the future.
2. Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: LaMarcus Aldridge
San Antonio Spurs Receive: Rodney Hood, Derrick Jones Jr., Nassir Little, 2021 Portland first-round pick
The Portland Trail Blazers are the franchise where LaMarcus Aldridge started his career: with this trade, Aldridge would be able to go back. Aside from it being a sentimental reunion, he could still be a useful contributor on a team with championship aspirations. Reuniting with Damian Lillard could potentially allow Aldridge to compete on a high level, as Damian Lillard is a clear-cut superstar. He would provide them with solid minutes at the center or power forward position.
The Portland Trail Blazers would have to send out some solid assets to get the deal done here. Rodney Hood and Derrick Jones Jr. would be there for salary purposes. Derrick Jones Jr. in particular could be useful in terms of being a high-energy defender with jaw-dropping athleticism. Nassir Little would be the young prospect in this deal, and the first-round pick would be low-value, but a first-round pick nonetheless. This would be a solid package to bring LaMarcus Aldridge to a franchise that is sentimental to him.
1. Miami Heat
Miami Heat Receive: LaMarcus Aldridge
San Antonio Spurs Receive: Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk, Precious Achiuwa, 2021 Miami first-round pick
The Miami Heat are currently in the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. Despite getting to the Finals during the NBA bubble, they are currently a lower seed which looks like it can't compete against the heavyweights in the East, simply due to the caliber of talent that is in the Conference. Perhaps a trade could send them in the right direction, and give them an extra push towards doing well in the playoffs. The Heat have already been rumored to have an interest in LaMarcus Aldridge. LaMarcus Aldridge could provide the Miami Heat with a quality rebounder and shooter, which is useful on most contending teams.
Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk are both there for contract matching LaMarcus Aldridge, but they are both quality veterans who have been around successful franchises. Precious Achiuwa was recently drafted with the 20th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and could be a big man that the San Antonio Spurs develop. The 2021 Miami first-round pick would also be a solid acquisition for this year's loaded draft. This deal would be good for both teams and would allow them to pursue their separate goals.