Nov 1, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; A detail view of the tattoos on San Antonio Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge (12) against the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter at the Chase Center. (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)
The San Antonio Spurs could move LaMarcus Aldridge to one of these teams
Teams are reporting to training camp and the 2021 NBA season is just around the corner, the San Antonio Spurs are back.
After missing the postseason for the first time since 1997 the Spurs are coming into this season fresh on the heels of a solid series of moves. They nailed both of their draft selections and made some smart free agency moves but still, many experts are predicting consecutive lottery appearances for San Antonio.
Even with some solid additions and the benefit of continuity, the Spurs are going to have a difficult time making it back to the playoffs. They might be better than they were last year but so is much of the Western Conference.
If things look bleak at the trade deadline it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Spurs turn into sellers. They’ve got a group of four veterans who could all have some appeal to a contending team. Any one of them could be moved for assets if the Spurs are looking to add to their rebuild.
LaMarcus Aldridge is coming off a season where he averaged19 points and 7.4 rebounds per game and also showed off a new wrinkle to his game. He’d never been much of a three-point threat but this year he put up three 3-point attempts per game and was hitting an impressive 39 percent of them.
Aldridge has already reportedly drawn interest from the Golden State Warriors and other contenders will surely put out feelers as we get closer to the deadline. San Antonio is notoriously inactive in trade space but this could be the year they make a move.
Here are three contenders who should be considered potential destinations of the Spurs want to move Aldridge.
Next: Miami goes for broke
Oct 8, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge (12) drives to the basket against Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard (0) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Heat make a solid trade partner for Aldridge and San Antonio Spurs
After failing to capture a championship this year, the Miami Heat will be plenty motivated to get back to the Finals in 2021. Making a deal for LaMarcus Aldridge could be the key to going all the way this time.
The Heat already have one of the brightest young frontcourts in basketball with Bam Adebayo and their draft-day addition of Precious Achiuwa. But adding Aldridge would give them the size they need to stand up to the defending champs.
The Los Angeles Lakers could field one of the biggest lineups in basketball last year and after signing Marc Gasol they can do it again this time around. Miami’s going to need an answer to a lineup of Gasol, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James. Aldridge could be the missing piece.
Miami has the assets to get put together a solid trade package. Adding in a player like Kendrick Nunn might be a talking point but if the Spurs end walking away with a first-round pick in return for Aldridge would certainly be better than watching him walk in the summer.
Miami is viewed as a favorite to sign one of the big-name free agents hitting the market during the summer of 2021. This deal gives them another high-level player for their title push this year and preserving their cap space for future moves.
Next: Indiana swaps big men
San Antonio Spurs get another young big man in Myles Turner
There aren’t many players we’ve pushed for the San Antonio Spurs to add more than Myles Turner. He’s seemingly always involved in trade rumors and he’d be an excellent fit in San Antonio.
Before Gordon Hayward signed his massive contract with the Charlotte Hornets, the Indiana Pacers were reportedly trying to get the Boston Celtics to agree to a sign and trade for the Hoosier state native. At the center of those talks was Turner,
The talks eventually fell apart but it’s clear that the Pacers are willing to trade Turner. A deal centered around a big man swap could leave both teams happy.
This is a great addition for the Spurs would have a promising young frontcourt duo of Turner and Jakob Poeltl. Spacing would be an issue but a trade for Turner would give San Antonio the personnel to have a top-ten shot blocker on the floor at all times. That, along with the addition of Devin Vassell, would go a long way towards getting the Spurs back to the elite defensive unit that they used to be.
Meanwhile, a lineup of Malcolm Brogdon, Victor Oladipo, TJ Warren, Domantas Sabonis, and Aldridge should be enough to push the Pacers to Eastern Conference Title contention.
Get there and the Pacers should have no problem attracting another solid player to join them in the summer when LaMarcus’s contract would be up.
Next: Aldridge heads back to Portland
LaMarcus Aldridge adds to the Trail Blazers quest for a championship
A deal between the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs for LaMarucs Aldrdige seems a bit less likely than the previous two teams but it’s probably the most interesting possibly of the three.
There’s no doubt that there’s some degree of mutual interest between Portland and Aldridge. He’s discussed a possible reunion with Damian Lillard and there’s hardly been a better time for the Blazers to go for broke in their pursuit of a championship.
The Blazers could have rolled out the same roster as last year and, providing that everyone stayed healthy, they would’ve been one of the better teams in the West. But their trade for Robert Covington signals that this is a team that is willing to take risks to improve its chances this year.
Adding Aldridge would be more of an insurance policy than a risk but it’s still going to cost Portland a some combination of two of Zach Collins, Nassir Little, Gary Trent Jr, and Anfernee Simons with Rodney Hood also included for salary purposes.
As Hood just signed with the Blazers again this summer, any deal that sends Aldridge back to Portland would have to wait until after February 18th at the very least.
For San Antonio, this is an excellent chance to add a promising young big man in Collins. The other player they should have their eyes on if they choose to engage the Balzers is Nassir Little.
He didn’t play much in his rookie season but Little would give the Spurs another injection of athleticism and potential out on the wing. He’s got the frame and tenacity to be an impactful defender with a few years of coaching from the Spurs staff and, by all accounts, he’s a tireless worker determined to make a second-year leap.
It’d be a bold move by the Blazers to give up young players in the pursuit of Aldridge when they could just add him this summer. But Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum aren’t getting any younger and this is as good of a chance as any for the Blazers to push their chips to the center of the table.
History would tell you to bet against the San Antonio Spurs making any sort of trade this year. But if LaMarcus Aldridge doesn’t finish out the year in a Spurs uniform he’ll likely end up suiting up for one of these three title contenders.