Numerous teams are expected to inquire about trading for San Antonio Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge. But how many of them actually make sense for both sides?
It’s passed the test of time, but there was once phrase fans often used to describe the NBA. Only three things in life are guaranteed: death, taxes and LeBron James in the NBA Finals. In counter, we could argue that there were three things that seemed almost guaranteed to never happen. Life, a tax-free world, and … the San Antonio Spurs heavily involved in trade rumors?
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Let it sit on your mind for a second: can you remember any point in time in which any of the Spurs’ perennial All-Stars were subject to trade discussions in early December? And this time, it’s much more than clickbait. After dropping 14 of their first 22 games to open the season, the Spurs’ futility has officially become a mainstream topic of discussion.
All of the hype and hoopla surrounding the potential of a 23rd consecutive postseason appearance has to be silenced, at least temporarily. And the first pin to drop could come in the form of seven-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.
Recent rumblings have offered that the Spurs could at some point finally have their eyes set on starting a rebuild and to do so, they would be forced to part ways with the player most responsible for ensuring that rebuild never came to be over the last three seasons.
The Spurs won’t be feeling the pressure until February’s trade deadline, but the discussion has already somewhat begun. HoopsHype columnist Frank Urbina reached out to numerous NBA executives in order to gauge a perception on Aldridge’s value. No spring chicken, Aldridge has played 33,420 minutes over the course of his career.
You don’t need a spreadsheet to understand that that’s a ton of mileage — only 103 players in the NBA’s existence have logged more — and it’s created the question as to how much NBA front offices are willing to give for the 34-year-old offensive juggernaut.
Taking into account the loss of a step here or there, Aldridge has generally been the same player he’s been throughout his prime.
He’s passing the ball at his best clip since 2012-13 in Portland, and he’s still averaging 18.9 points per game on the second-best true shooting percentage of his career, despite having his lowest usage percentage (23.3) since he was merely a skinny, unproven rookie from the University of Texas in 2006-07.
All of this correlates to one central idea: a Spurs rebuild means likely means moving Aldridge and over the past few weeks, roughly a half-dozen teams have emerged as potential suitors, be it to propel them into either postseason contention, or flat-out championship contention. The five-time All-NBA selection still has the offensive brilliance needed to turn that into a possibility.
With that in mind, here a couple of trade packages — some made personally, others made by those in-tune with executive thinking — followed by analysis on how they could materialize.