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LaMarcus Aldridge Rumors: Star Interested in Bulls After Being Cleared for NBA Return

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 4, 2021

AP Foto/Adam Hunger

LaMarcus Aldridge, who has been medically cleared to return to the NBA after retiring in April because of an irregular heartbeat, is interested in joining the Chicago Bulls, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago on the Bulls Talk Podcast (h/t Michael Mulford of Lonzo Wire).

"I have heard and also reported that the Bulls have been on Aldridge's radar as well," Johnson said.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Thursday that the Brooklyn Nets, who signed Aldridge as a free agent in March, were considered the leaders to sign the big man.

Aldridge has made seven All-Star Games and five All-NBA teams during his 15-year career, which also includes stints with the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs. He's averaged 19.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Last year, the 36-year-old posted 13.5 points and 4.5 boards per game for the Spurs and Nets. San Antonio waived Aldridge on March 25, and the Nets picked up him three days later.

Aldridge started five games for the Nets before sitting out. Per Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press (h/t the Denver Post), the former University of Texas star was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

"In Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, an extra electrical pathway between your heart's upper and lower chambers causes a rapid heartbeat," per the Mayo Clinic. "The condition, which is present at birth, is fairly rare."

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Aldridge announced his retirement April 15:

LaMarcus Aldridge @aldridge_12

<a href="https://t.co/q69S0VhdFf">pic.twitter.com/q69S0VhdFf</a>

The Nets are the front-runners to win the title with a star-studded roster featuring Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

The Bulls have not made the playoffs since the 2016-17 season but appear ready to become postseason contenders after adding DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball to a team with a pair of All-Stars in Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.

Aldridge can't go wrong with either choice, but most importantly, he was given a clean bill of health to return for his 16th campaign.

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