As the latest professional basketball season tips off Tuesday night, the NBA trade rumors are likely to only get stronger right up until the deadline arrives. One player being mentioned frequently in the rumor mill is San Antonio Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge. There have been NBA rumors all over the internet debating which team might be able to make a deal for the big man, with squads such as the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks being mentioned recently. However, a better fit for Aldridge may be the Phoenix Suns, based on the most recent trade rumors going around online.
On Monday, iSportsTimes writer Miguel Torres discussed the latest NBA rumors surrounding the Spurs star and mentioned that there has been speculation that Aldridge is "unhappy with his current team." Usually, it's locker room feuds or player-versus-coach issues that lead to someone wanting out of a franchise. However, the big man brushed off any notion that he doesn't like playing in San Antonio for head coach Gregg Popovich and his winning system. He also adds that Popovich is a great mentor and says he has been given a warm treatment and reception by his Spurs teammates so far.
Despite Aldridge's comments that he is just fine in San Antonio, it hasn't stopped the trade speculation and debates over him. He certainly is a major asset to any team that can acquire him and it seems there could be a good fit for him if the trade partner can figure out the best move. A Fansided report about Aldridge speculates that maybe the Phoenix Suns would make a good home for the 31-year-old All-Star. In exchange for the big man, it's suggested that Phoenix gives up their No. 8 draft pick, Marquese Chriss, and maybe a draft pick. Another possible deal involves sending guard Brandon Knight to San Antonio for Aldridge.
The six-foot-10 Chriss enters the league from the University of Washington and was one of two top 10 picks for the Suns in this past summer's draft. They also picked up seven-foot-one forward Dragan Bender from Croatia at No. 4, a foreign talent who is being compared to emerging New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis. Both of these rookie big men will be getting some minutes for a Suns' team that has fallen out of playoff contention in recent seasons.
Chriss, also a power forward, is being talked about as the rookie the Suns need to allow to develop the most. As Tom West of Today's Fastbreak says, Chriss has work to do, but he's got the fuller build when compared to fellow rookie forward Bender. He also appears ready to hold his own, or at least learn to do so, against some of the league's premier big men. Chriss finished third amongst all rookies this preseason in scoring and first in rebounding, showing just how valuable a player he could be in the future.
With that said, if Spurs management and head coach Greg Popovich had a crystal ball, they may be quick to pull the trigger on this deal. If Aldridge truly is unhappy in San Antonio this season, then adding the rookie might be the move to make. However, at this point, it appears the Spurs want to remain in contention with Golden State for an NBA Championship. With veteran Tim Duncan having hung up his sneakers and jersey, plus Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili nearing their retirements, two players are really the team's future right now. One of them is former NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, while the other is LaMarcus Aldridge.
Bringing Chriss to San Antonio might make sense, but as mentioned, it would mean taking the time to help develop the youngster. Aldrige seems to already have developed his game and will now be playing in his second season with the Spurs. It makes more sense for a team with a winning pedigree in search of championships right now to keep their two top stars on the roster, rather than rebooting. While adding Aldridge to the Suns would probably be a major boost to Phoenix, it would take a bit too much away from the Spurs at this point while giving them an unproven young talent.
Time will tell if Aldridge is still happy in San Antonio and if Chriss is the type of player worth swinging this deal.
NBA fans, what do you think of these latest trade rumors? Would the Spurs want to add Marquese Chriss to their roster and give up Aldridge to the Suns? Would sending Brandon Knight to San Antonio make more sense for these two teams in an exchange for Aldridge?
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]