If you’ve been making time for the NBA lately, you’re well aware that Kevin Love may be the hot commodity around the league. There’s another guy who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2015, however. LaMarcus Aldridge becomes a free agent by the end of next season and no one appears to be speculating where he’ll end up. Could he simply resign with Portland? Sure, but should that be a computerized assumption? Definitely not!
So, since we’re about them, where does Aldridge find yourself? Could he follow the trend of today’s super star and proceed to an important market, form teams with a couple other big names and hope to attend the Finals four straight years? I guess it’s possible, but I don’t see Aldridge as that “spot light” guy. One possibility, and possibly even the leading runner for Aldridge, may be the San Antonio Spurs. By now next season, the Spurs could have bookoo cap space and lots of roster space to fill. If Aldridge lands in San Antonio boils down to a few key factors. Spurs’cap space, Aldridge’s Texas roots, and an alluring proven championship system under Gregg Popovich.
In 2015, basically the entire team will be off the books, including the big four (Duncan, Ginobili, Leonard, and Parker). However, Duncan and Manu will, probably retire, freeing up over $17 million in cap space. With a combined $39 million in cap space, they will have plenty to resign Leonard, Parker, and Green and still have enough to sign a man like Aldridge (assuming he doesn’t really need a maximum deal). If Danny Green chases a more impressive payday, a lot more dough will be up for grabs as well.
Aldridge is a Texas native. Born and raised in Dallas, TX and an alum of the University of Texas, Aldridge well may want to come back home to Texas and being closer to his family and friends. If you’re an NBA player and want to be in Texas, what better team to play for compared to the one that has more Larry O’Brian Trophies compared to the other two combined? In most honesty, I don’t know how Aldridge feels about surviving in Portland, but you can’t eliminate the likelihood of him wanting to maneuver back once again to Texas.
Pop’s Proven System
As I recently touched on, the Spurs do have more championships than the Mavericks and Rockets combined, all under Gregg Popovich. If this year is any inclination of what’s to come, Pop’s system is a force to reckon with for the foreseeable future. Why would a 29 year old, championship hopeful desire to go somewhere that will workout and not really a place that is shown to work? I see Pop playing out the remainder of Tony Parker’s career (if not the majoirty of Kawhi Leonard’s too). Look at what he built around Parker and the aged Ginobili and Duncan and imagine what he could do with young guns Leonard and Aldridge. One word, deadly!
Right now we really don’t know where Aldridge will end up. What I actually do know is ruling the Spurs out of contention will be ludicrous. 2015 is a strange time for Spurs fans, a period where (in my opinion) they witness Manu and Tim both riding off in the sunset. Adding LaMarcus Aldridge to the tandum of Leonard and Parker could considerably ease the pain.