There’ve been rumors that the Miami Heat are interested in LaMarcus Aldridge for a while now and they have the assets to entice the San Antonio Spurs.
The expectation is that San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge is going to be at 100 percent when he returns to the court next season. This is why they’ve got him stationed in the River City as the rest of the team embarks on their journey through the Orlando bubble. Entering the final season of his career with a preventative surgery that should protect him from damage in the future, Aldridge is one of the Spurs’ best trade assets.
Few teams have reasonable fits for Aldridge, but the Miami Heat make for an interesting suitor. They’ve been linked with Aldridge in the past — namely in 2015, when the Spurs nabbed him from the Trail Blazers. This season, Aldridge proved that he can age into the modern era by spacing the floor and hitting 3-pointers at a 38.9 percent clip.
Miami Herald writer Barry Jackson wrote an extensive piece on the Spurs being a trade partner for the Miami Heat, noting that Aldridge is a fit for a Heat roster chock-full of wings and perimeter players. To make a deal work, Miami needs to do some creative maneuvering and part ways with some assets that they probably want to keep in town.
However, Aldridge, Adebayo and Butler in the frontcourt make for an intriguing triad for a roster that’s fleshed out with shooters to complement them. Here’s how it could work out.
For San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge and their 2020 second-round pick, the Miami Heat ship off Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk and their 2020 first-round draft pick.
Draft night is the key to everything here. For years now, the Miami Heat have proven that they can bring in talent in the second round of the draft. Therefore, their first-round picks haven’t been quite as valuable to their front office, which is why the Spurs are able to nab it from them for Aldridge. However, the Heat aren’t allowed to trade this year’s first-round pick unless it’s on the night of the 2020 draft.
By making this move, the Spurs can add to their young core by picking up another late first-rounder in a draft class that’s full of quality role players at the very least. In our 2020 NBA Mock Draft, we had the Heat taking Tony Parker’s protégé, Theo Maledon of France. Other potential fits in this range include Josh Green from Arizona, Jalen Smith from Maryland and Tyler Bey from Colorado.
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Adding Kelly Olynyk and Andre Iguodala to the Spurs’ rotation poses no threat to the current lineup. With Aldridge gone, Jakob Poeltl is free to take over that starting spot with Olynyk playing in spots off the bench as a serviceable floor spacer who has come up in big moments for both the Boston Celtics and the Heat.
San Antonio has been in pursuit of Iggy for years now and this contract is very team-friendly. The former Finals MVP is set to make $15 million next season with a team option for the same rate in the following season. This allows the Spurs to prioritize their young core, add defensive-minded depth on the wing and retain even greater cap flexibility than what they’re set to have in 2021.
Of the many trades we’ve gone through in this series, this deal between San Antonio and Miami is probably the most feasible of all. Miami could use another piece in the frontcourt to propel them toward contention and now that Aldridge is a floor-spacer in addition to being a great rim defender and one of the best mid-range scorers in the sport, he fits nicely with their core.
You can find other articles in this series by clicking on the team name below:
Western Conference: LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies. Eastern Conference: Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks.