LaMarcus Aldridge was the marquee signing of NBA free agency, and the San Antonio Spurs are now tasked with fitting the power forward into a fast-paced offense.
According to BBall Breakdown, Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka believes Aldridge will be a seamless fit. Udoka said of Aldridge:
"It’s a little different incorporating a major piece like that. We’ve usually had role players kinda come in, so there’s gonna be a little bit of teaching there, but he’ll fit in just fine. We know how he is."
Aldridge developed a somewhat-unfair reputation as a ball-stopper with the Portland Trail Blazers, which led to questions about the 30-year-old’s ability to adapt in San Antonio.
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However, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes suggested the criticism is overblown.
“San Antonio is going to be smart about this, and it’s going to put Aldridge in situations to succeed,” Hughes said. “Maybe that success will come in slightly different ways than he’s used to, but it’s difficult to imagine he’ll be unprepared when his coach explains to him that the Spurs do things a certain way.”
The nine-year veteran will play alongside Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan in the starting lineup. Aldridge offers an isolation threat on the left block, provides valuable spacing as a stretch 4 and fills a weakness San Antonio displayed left of the free-throw line during the 2014-15 season.
He must become a quick-thinking part of the rapid ball movement, and the four-time All-Star has only averaged 1.9 assists per game throughout his career. Nevertheless, Udoka seems to think Aldridge won’t have a problem adjusting.