More NBA trade rumors are pouring in from around the internet, with the NBA season just under a week away. One of the big names that surfaced just recently is San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge. The All-Star has become one of the key pieces for the Spurs franchise as they continued to contend for the title now that Tim Duncan has retired. A good number of teams would love to acquire the services of Aldridge, but could the Atlanta Hawks really be one of them if they parted with Paul Millsap and a draft pick?
On Thursday, the Sportsrageous website speculated on a possible Spurs and Hawks deal involving these two All-Star players. It appears that Aldridge felt he was going to be the top star for the Spurs going forward. However, that player is clearly Kawhi Leonard, who was there before Aldridge even arrived to San Antonio. Leonard already has a championship on his resume as well as the NBA Finals MVP Award. Aldridge has yet to reach that level but feels he was pitched differently when the team approached him. As it stands, he really hasn't met expectations with his new team, thus far.Just a bit over a week ago, ESPN writer Zach Lowe made some crazy predictions for the NBA season. They included the Los Angeles Clippers winning the No. 2 seed in the West, and that Aldridge's name would surface in trade talks. It was considered a crazy bit of speculation but it sent the internet into overdrive as fans and sportswriters tried out different trades in the NBA Trade Machine at ESPN.
As mentioned, the Atlanta Hawks have been brought up as a team that could strike up a deal for Aldridge. The proposed trade would have Atlanta sending over Paul Millsap and a future first-round draft pick to the Spurs. It seems like a bit of a strange move, though, as the Hawks just picked up center Dwight Howard for their team in the offseason. Pairing Aldridge with Howard would make up a sort of "twin towers" combo in Atlanta, but it doesn't seem like one that would work.
The Hawks were amongst contenders last season in the Eastern Conference, but the Cleveland Cavaliers showed in the playoffs that Atlanta is still not really on their level. That is probably the biggest reason they added Dwight Howard to the mix to try to compete. Guard Jeff Teague went to the Indiana Pacers. Their former All-Star Al Horford also jumped ship for the Boston Celtics, another contending team in the East. If Howard doesn't pan out, like he didn't for the Lakers or Rockets, then possibly the Hawks will ditch him. Having Aldridge on the roster would certainly be a good addition.
The Spurs are still amongst title contenders out in the Western Conference, but teams such as the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers may be ahead of them. They might decide to pick up a talented player such as Paul Millsap. The power forward was the Hawks leader in points with 16.7 per game and rebounds with 9.4 a game. He also was right behind Horford for the team's blocks lead, making him a potentially good fit in San Antonio.
Going forward, San Antonio is going to look to make the smartest roster additions they can because they need to keep up with Golden State. This is a championship franchise steeped in tradition with a winning basketball system. They've got arguably the game's all-time best coach in Greg Popovich and when he has the right personnel, they're always on the cusp of another championship. It's still possible he could make things work with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, just don't expect the latter of these two players to be considered the team's top star anytime soon.
Keep in mind that these are still just NBA rumors. There are no legitimate trade deals being discussed, but the fun is in speculating on the possibilities. Most struggling teams wouldn't mind having Aldridge on their rosters, but not every team has the valuable components needed to make that big trade.
NBA fans, will the trade rumors and predictions prove to be true that LaMarcus Aldridge will get traded this upcoming season? Do you think current Hawks star Paul Millsap would be a better fit in San Antonio than Aldridge, or should the Spurs give him more seasons to prove his worth?
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