In an appearance on CSNNE.com’s Early Edition on Tuesday, Jackie MacMullan of ESPN hinted that there could be some trouble brewing between the San Antonio Spurs and forward LaMarcus Aldridge:
“For instance, sources were telling me the other day that LaMarcus Aldridge may not even finish the year with the Spurs. That experiment hasn’t quite worked out the way they hoped.”
Aldridge signed a four-year deal worth in excess of $80 million with the Spurs in July 0f 2015. In his lone season with the club so far, he averaged 18 points and 8.5 rebounds per game and helped San Antonio to the NBA’s second-best overall record at 67-15.
These are merely mumblings at this point, but MacMullan is not the first to think that Aldridge’s time in San Antonio could be coming to an end sooner than expected. ESPN’s Zach Lowe predicted just last week that he would not be surprised to see the player’s name pop up in trade talks.
MacMullan was quick to say that she would not like to see Aldridge linked with her hometown Boston Celtics, either:
“No! Not after what I heard the other day. I don’t. There’s some stuff going on.”
Of course, we have no way of knowing what “some stuff” entails, but Aldridge’s tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers reportedly came to a fairly acrimonious end after he seemed to clash with Damian Lillard. The Spurs have a reputation for keeping a very positive culture, and they have shown in the past that they are willing to deal quickly with potential trouble spots.
Should Aldridge hit the trading block, he’ll have no shortage of suitors. He is still only 31, and his annual salary at just over $20 million over each of the next three seasons potentially amounts to a bargain given the league’s recent salary cap explosion. Prior to agreeing to join the Spurs, Aldridge reportedly received strong interest from the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors.