The rumblings about the future of Portland Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge will continue to grow louder and louder as we near free agency in July, especially after Aldridge and the Blazers struggled in a 4-1 first-round series loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. There are players concerned about Aldridge leaving, and there has been some chatter about him possibly going home to play for one of the Texas teams. Specifically, ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the San Antonio Spurs are “near or at the top” of Aldridge’s list.
The Spurs only have about $34 million in guaranteed money on the books for next season, but Kawhi Leonard is in line for a max extension and the futures of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are up in the air. If Duncan and Ginobili retire or come back on super cheap deals, that could open up the door for a hard push at a guy like Aldridge or Marc Gasol.
The Dallas Mavericks could be another option for Aldridge with Dirk Nowitzki nearing the end of his career. Another possibility Stein mentions is the Cleveland Cavaliers if Kevin Love decides to go elsewhere. That scenario would require a sign-and-trade to get Aldridge to Cleveland.
Aldridge has a pretty good thing going in Portland with a young sidekick in Damian Lillard and some other quality young players around him, although Stein says Aldridge may be feeling a bit underappreciated because of Lillard’s rising stature. The Blazers also haven’t really won much with Aldridge, and perhaps he would like a change of scenery. This will be one of the more fascinating storylines to watch this summer.