It was announced today that San Antonio Spurs star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge underwent season-ending surgery in April and will not play in Orlando.
Just as San Antonio Spurs fans geared up for one last chance at a playoff run, it’s been announced that they’ll be without their star big man LaMarcus Aldridge. NBA Insider Shams Charania announced on Monday that the Aldridge had surgery on his right shoulder in late April and that they’ve known they would be without their star big when the season resumed.
San Antonio put out an official press release this afternoon including a quote from Aldridge himself, who says he’s “Disappointed I won’t get to finish the season with my teammates but excited that I’ll be fully ready to go next season and beyond.” Considering next year is the last season of his multi-year contract, it’ll prove pivotal to Aldridge’s hopes of securing another high-paying long term deal before retiring in the near future.
Aldridge had been playing in a new role this season, taking a step back and allowing wing DeMar DeRozan to take primary control of the unit. With that in mind, Aldridge shot 38.9 percent from 3-point land on a career-high three attempts per game. It’s a revelation that is assured to extend his career, just like this surgery is intended to for the 34-year-old.
The Spurs today announced that LaMarcus Aldridge had a surgical procedure performed on his right shoulder, which will cause him to miss the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) June 8, 2020
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The Spurs have been trending young for a few years now, so it’s assumed that center Jakob Poeltl will step up in his place as the starter. Since Aldridge was the second-leading shot taker, it’s looking like some of the younger Spurs are going to get their shot at assuming a larger role. Though it’s sad to see Aldridge sidelined for the rest of the year, these eight games in Orlando will provide an amazing experience for the young core.
In his five years with the team, Aldridge has gone through the motions before truly embodying the Spurs way. By this point, he’s become a true leader and carries himself in a distinguished manner, giving back to the San Antonio community and providing veteran guidance to the young core both by example and through instilling his experiences.
This is a huge blow to the team’s playoff hopes, but it’s not all lost. It opens up a world of new opportunities with the young players ready to take over that role. Rookie power forward Luka Samanic could be in line for some playing time against top-notch competition and starting four Trey Lyles played splendidly in Aldridge’s absence.
Regardless of what comes next, Aldridge is going to be back to 100 percent for next season and that’s where most of the Spurs’ hope lays anyway.