San Antonio Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge was open to trade in the summer
By Rob Wolkenbrod
Amidst the trade rumors surrounding LaMarcus Aldridge, it turns out he was open to being moved by the San Antonio Spurs.
As long as Kawhi Leonard remains out with a quad injury, LaMarcus Aldridge will be the guy for the San Antonio Spurs. He took this role in the preseason, which Leonard missed all of, and passed the test with flying colors. The same went for Wednesday’s season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
About four months ago, this didn’t seem possible to happen. Aldridge was involved in trade rumors, that made his future in the Alamo City bleak. These disappeared after the NBA Draft but apparently remained, behind the scenes.
On a recent episode of ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski’s “The Woj Pod” (h/t News4SanAntonio.com), he revealed that not only were the Spurs shopping Aldridge, the five-time All-Star also was open to being moved.
“The Spurs did talk about trading LaMarcus last year. He was very open to being traded. They talked about deals around the draft and they talked about deals in the summer, when they were trying to get Kyrie Irving.”
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Wojnarowski reported, in the summer, the Spurs were involved in the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes and had made an offer for the former NBA champion. Aldridge may have been a piece of a larger trade package, as other parts of the deal never surfaced. This was in late July, meaning his conversation with head coach Gregg Popovich happened in August or September.
Things were smoothed out between Aldridge and Popovich, so everything looks fine on the surface. $72.3 million over three years will do the trick, too. Given the former’s play in the preseason and the season opener, he seems more comfortable than ever. From aggressive takes to getting extra touches, this is the closest version to the Texas product’s Portland Trail Blazer days that anyone’s arguably seen since 2015.
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There are still 81 games left and Leonard remains out with his injury, so this team is Aldridge’s for however long it lasts. He’ll look to keep up the momentum on Saturday, Oct. 21, when the Spurs play the Chicago Bulls.