NBA Trade Rumors: Celtics Could Swap Tristan Thompson For LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge finding his way into the basket
Gettyimages | Jason Miller

San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the veteran big men who are expected to change teams before the 2021 trade deadline. The Spurs may be currently in the playoff race, but rumors are circulating about Aldridge's nearing departure from San Antonio. According Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Coach Gregg Popovich recently announced that Aldridge and the Spurs have mutually agreed to part ways. As of now, the Spurs are reportedly engaged on several fronts with potential deals for the 35-year-old center.

LaMarcus Aldridge To Beantown

LaMarcus Aldridge smiling at his teammates
Gettyimages | Christian Petersen

Since the reports about him spread around the league, Aldridge has already been linked to several teams that are in dire need of a frontcourt boost and additional star power to improve their chances of winning the NBA championship title this season. One of the potential landing spots for Aldridge before the 2021 trade deadline is the Boston Celtics. In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report discussed a hypothetical deal that would enable the Celtics to acquire Aldridge from the Spurs.

Celtics & Spurs Swap Big Men

LaMarcus Aldridge posting against Tristan Thompson
Gettyimages | Jason Miller

In the proposed trade scenario that would send Aldridge to Beantown, Swartz suggested that the Celtics could use Tristan Thompson as their main trade chip, together with the $28.5 million trade exception that they obtained when they sent Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets in the 2020 free agency.

The Celtics could use their $28.5 million trade exception to absorb Aldridge's contract, and sending back Thompson would ensure they stay out of the luxury tax.

The Celtics have a plethora of future draft picks and young players to sweeten the deal, but it remains a big question mark if they are willing to give up those assets for an aging big man who could only be a rental.

LaMarcus Aldridge Boosts Celtics' Frontcourt

LaMarcus Aldridge going back to defense
Gettyimages | Ronald Martinez

Despite his age and deteriorating performance, trading for Aldridge would still make sense for the Celtics. As Swartz noted, Aldridge wouldn't only give them a starting-caliber center who is capable of spacing the floor, but he would also provide them with a positive veteran presence in their locker room.

Aldridge would provide better floor-spacing for Boston's guards and wings and is the superior overall offensive player. On a team that's still pretty young, Aldridge could be a veteran voice in a locker room that's underperformed with a 19-17 record this season.

Being Traded To Celtics Would Benefit LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge trying to shoot the ball against Joel Embiid
Gettyimages | Cameron Pollack

The departure of Aldridge in San Antonio would deeply hurt lots of Spurs' fans, but as of now it might be best for both sides to head in different directions. With the Spurs expected to focus on rebuilding the team and developing their young players, Aldridge is better off spending his remaining years in the league playing for a legitimate contender like the Celtics.

Joining the Celtics before the 2021 trade deadline would give Aldridge a realistic chance to contend for the NBA title and the opportunity to increase his value before becoming a free agent in the 2021 offseason.