LaMarcus Aldridge gave a few teams their fair shot, but in the end, it was the San Antonio Spurs who won the prized free agent. Aldridge has chosen to team up with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Kawhi Leonard, signing a four-year, $80 million dollar deal with the Spurs.
The frenzy of fun that is NBA free agency is officially underway, with Aldridge the player who has made the first splash out of the gate. The former Portland Trail Blazer had a tough decision to make, but as USA Today reported, Aldridge didn’t even give former teammate Damian Lillard a shot at a face-to-face meeting to hopefully lure him back to town.
“Lillard, upon return from a promotional trip in Paris, was hoping to pull off some fourth-quarter heroics on Thursday. He started planning a trip via charter plane to Los Angeles to meet with Aldridge and try to work it out. But the trip never happened because, well, it was already too late.”
Don’t worry though, Portland, because it wasn’t just you who got turned down by Aldridge, as the Los Angeles Lakers were also rejected. As the Los Angeles Times reported, the Lakers made their pitch to Aldridge, but came up short on the high-profile free agent.
Next up for the offseason rumor mill? Well, it’s time to talk about how the impressive lineup below which features Aldridge is one that will immediately make life tough on the Golden State Warriors.
With all due respect to LeBron James (and more than likely the Cleveland Cavaliers), that group is the most dangerous starting five in the NBA, thanks to Aldridge. The Spurs had firepower before, but adding Aldridge inside just makes this team scary all-around.
The Warriors deserve heaps of respect after their 67-15 regular season record and an NBA Championship, but they may be in for a matchup nightmare against both Duncan and Aldridge inside. Obviously, we’re still a ways away from even talking about a 2016 Western Conference Finals series between these two, but finding a way to slow down Aldridge (and of course Duncan) on the inside? It seems like a pretty daunting task.
One vital move for the Spurs moving forward will be attempting to get Manu Ginobili to come back for one more season. His depth would be key to helping the Spurs make another championship push, and it’s safe to say that he’s probably a bit intrigued by the potential to play with LaMarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge will carry in impressive numbers of 23.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, and one block per game last season. Those numbers were the best of Aldridge’s nine-year career, showing that he very well may be peaking at the perfect time for his new team.
With the Aldridge signing, the Spurs look like the early front-runner for the best signing of the 2015 offseason. Best of all, Aldridge in town means this team is once again a serious contender.
[Image via Streeter Lecka]