The LaMarcus Aldridge free agency saga is officially over as the All-Star power forward will sign with the San Antonio Spurs, as he announced himself on Saturday via Twitter.
I’m happy to say I’m going home to Texas and will be a Spur!! I’m excited to join the team and be close to my family and friends.
— Lamarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) July 4, 2015
The 30-year-old Aldridge will reportedly sign a four-year maximum contract that will be worth over $80 million, including an opt out after the third year of the contract, sources told Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
This decision for Aldridge came together after he met with the Spurs for a second time earlier this week. The selling point from the team and head coach Gregg Popovich was that Aldridge could be a part of Tim Duncan’s final days in the NBA. After Duncan officially retires, big man Aldridge would be able to take over the vacancy Duncan leaves behind.
As Stein pointed out, the Spurs recent success and being the class of the Western Conference has made them one of, if not the hottest desired destinations for free agents.
It only took five championships and nearly 20 years… but the San Antonio Spurs are the darlings of free agency
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 4, 2015
Prior to signing Aldridge, the Spurs first big move was re-signing Kawhi Leonard to a maximum contract. Now, with both Leonard and Aldridge in the fold, the Spurs will come into the 2015-2016 with one of the more formidable starting lineups in the entire league.
Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Leonard, Aldridge and Duncan will be a tough challenge for any team.
Aldridge and his ability to be a dominant player on both sides of the ball will help the Spurs in the pursuit of another NBA championship. The Austin, Texas native is a four-time All-Star who has averaged a double-double for the past two seasons. Last season, Aldridge posted 23.8 PPG alongside 10.4 RPG for the Portland Trailblazers.
For his nine-year career, all of which as spent with the Trailblazers, Aldridge has career averages of 19.7 PPG and 8.5 RPG. Those numbers are a huge reason why several teams coveted him. The Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets all had varying degrees of interest in the big man.
But Aldridge will return home out west and embark on a journey to groom himself to continue the legacy of an efficient power forward alive and well after his new teammate Duncan eventually hangs up the sneakers.
[Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]