San Antonio Spurs contract analysis: LaMarcus Aldridge
By Andrew Ites
LaMarcus Aldridge’s contract extension with the San Antonio Spurs is set to kick in next year. Will he be a good value on his next deal?
The San Antonio Spurs had never been a force in free agency during the Gregg Popovich era.
They normally signed veterans that were slightly past their prime and could fit in as role players around Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and eventually Kawhi Leonard.
That all changed in the summer of 2015 when the Spurs signed LaMarcus Aldridge to a four-year max deal worth over $84 million.
Aldridge had made four straight All-Star teams coming into his first season in San Antonio, and he was supposed to form a dynamic perimeter-post duo with Kawhi Leonard in the next generation of great Spurs teams.
Aldridge was the first player to become unhappy with that situation, and he even requested a trade before last season.
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Popovich was able to convince the six-time All-Star to stay in San Antonio with a contract extension, and Aldridge responded with one of the best all-around seasons of his career last year.
Kawhi’s trade demands broke up the Spurs’ core of superstars, but they brought in another in their deal with Toronto by acquiring DeMar DeRozan in the Leonard trade.
DeRozan joins the Spurs at a crucial point in Aldridge’s career as the All-NBA big man is set to become a free agent next offseason.
Aldridge played extremely well as San Antonio’s number one option last year, but he will need to adapt his game once again to compliment another wing scorer.
Aldridge and DeRozan’s games don’t fit perfectly together as they both like to do most of their damage in the midrange. However, there isn’t a better coach in the league than Gregg Popovich to help make that combination work.
Aldridge will be 34 years old by the time this contract extension kicks in, and it’s worth wondering how many effective years he has left as he enters his 13th NBA season.
Aldridge will be making $72.3 million over three years on his next contract, which is a lot of money for a player who’s best years may be behind him.
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However, Aldridge could be perfectly suited for a number two role alongside a player in his prime like DeMar DeRozan. It will be extremely interesting to see what the Spurs’ offense looks like next year with those two All-Stars on the floor and whether Aldridge will be a good value on his next contract.