The NBA trade rumors are picking up regarding LaMarcus Aldridge and not even a public denial from the San Antonio Spurs forward can slow down the reports that he may be moving elsewhere.
In the wake of Tim Duncan’s retirement, the role of Aldridge on the Spurs going forward is very much in flux. The team was already in transition from one led by the trio of Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili to a new core of Kawhi Leonard, Aldridge, and some other young supporting players.
But a potential struggle between Aldridge and Leonard has led to trade rumors. Sources close to the team claim that Aldridge isn’t happy playing second fiddle, and he wants a new start out of San Antonio.
The Metro‘s Matt Burke noted that the Boston Celtics could be a potential landing spot for Aldridge as the Celtics have a number of assets in the form of young talent and draft picks. Kevin McHale has also shown that he’s ready to make aggressive moves to turn the Celtics back into a contender.
In the last week, there were widespread rumors that Aldridge wasn’t happy with his role on the team that had Kawhi Leonard emerging as the team leader and Aldridge as something of a second option.
Report: LaMarcus Aldridge may not be happy with Kawhi Leonard getting Spurs spotlight https://t.co/ewuBF4e7yb— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) October 19, 2016
But amid the NBA trade rumors, LaMarcus Aldridge has insisted that he is happy with the San Antonio Spurs and is still planning to play a very important role in the upcoming season.
“I talk to [coach Gregg Popovich] daily and he’s always telling me that I’m doing great,” Aldridge on the Jim Rome Show (via ESPN). “[I’m] trying to be a more of a leader. He’s put me in positions where I can be more of a leader. As long as the guys here aren’t saying bad things to me. All my teammates have said nothing but great things to me.”
LaMarcus Aldridge came on the Jim Rome Show yesterday and debunked rumors concerning him: https://t.co/VC5Km69Yny— Pounding the Rock (@poundingtherock) October 21, 2016
But the trade rumors may not rest entirely on how LaMarcus Aldridge feels about his role on the team. There have been reports that the team is planning to pay close attention to how he fits in, and if team management senses that they can get a good return, then he may be on the trade block.
Last week, ESPN’s Zach Lowe noted that it might be decision time for the San Antonio Spurs as Aldridge has an option to opt out of his contract after the 2017-18 season, and his trade value is currently at its highest.
“The Spurs will see if this team outperforms expectations,” he wrote. “If it doesn’t, they should take calls on Aldridge. He’s really good, and there are a lot of impatient owners chasing immediate gratification.”
And LaMarcus Aldridge may no longer be a great fit for the San Antonio Spurs, Bleacher Report noted. In the wake of Tim Duncan’s retirement, he may be called on to play as a center more often, which was a position where he struggled.
“As Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale noted (via NBAwowy.com), when Leonard played power forward and Aldridge slotted in at center, the Spurs allowed what would have been an Association-worst 111.3 points per 100 possessions.”
But the NBA trade rumors surrounding LaMarcus Aldridge could soon go into hibernation. It appears that the San Antonio Spurs will start the season with the All-Star forward on the floor, and the first few months of the season could serve as a bit of a test to see how the chemistry works with Aldridge and Leonard leading the team. But if things don’t go smoothly, the rumors could pick back up in time for the NBA trade deadline.
[Featured Image by Eric Gay/AP Images]