As the Spurs continue to struggle in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors have started to swirl around All-Star center LaMarcus Aldridge and his future with San Antonio. Instead of remaining a mediocre team in the Western Conference, most people believe that the Spurs are better off tearing down their roster and undergoing a rebuilding process. Once Aldridge becomes officially available on the trading block, several teams are expected to express interest in acquiring him before the February trade deadline, including the Portland Trail Blazers.
In the proposed trade deal by Fansided’s Air Alamo, the Trail Blazers would send a trade package including Hassan Whiteside and a 2020 first-round pick to the Spurs in exchange for Aldridge. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the suggested trade becomes a reality, it would help both teams in filling the needs to improve on their roster.
“For the Blazers, they get the player their offense needs. When Jusuf Nurkic comes back, the Blazers could pair him with Aldridge for a dominant one-two punch down low. Additionally, having LaMarcus available would allow Portland to bring Nurkic back slowly. His injury is not one that players recover from easily and it could take him a while to get his legs back underneath him. Nurkic has proven to be a relatively versatile defender for his size. Adding another big who can shoulder a little defensive load, but provide much-needed offense from the mid-range would only benefit Portland.”
Aldridge would be a great addition to the Trail Blazers, giving them another reliable scoring option next to the explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. This season, the 34-year-old center is averaging 18.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks, while shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. The potential arrival of Aldridge is expected to further improve the Trail Blazers’ offensive efficiency, which currently ranks No. 10 in the league, scoring 107.8 points per 100 possessions, according to ESPN.
Aldridge would no longer need to make himself comfortable in Portland as it was the place where he spent the first nine years of his NBA career. The Trail Blazers were the team that selected Aldridge as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 draft and helped him turn himself into an All-Star.
Aldridge’s departure from the Trail Blazers in 2015 may have been filled with controversy, but he and Lillard have already mended fences and opened the door for a potential reunion.
Meanwhile, the deal would not only be beneficial for the Trail Blazers but also for the Spurs. In exchange for Aldridge, the Spurs would acquire a younger big man in Whiteside who is better in the pick-and-roll, and a future first-round pick that would enable them to add another young and promising talent to their roster.
If the Spurs don’t view Whiteside as part of their long-term plan, they could just let him walk away when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.