Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard caused a stir Monday when he mentioned the San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge as the former teammate he'd most like to see return. The Twitter post was later deleted.
Nico Martinez of Fadeaway World captured the social media post before it was removed and noted the reference to a player under contract with another team likely violates tampering rules, which could lead to punishment for Lillard and/or the Blazers.
Aldridge responded to the message on the Blazers' official Twitter account before it was taken down:
The 34-year-old spent nine years in Portland, including three seasons alongside Lillard, before signing with San Antonio as a free agent in July 2015.
"I keep telling him I'm going to come back and finish there," Aldridge told Jason Quick of The Athletic in March 2019. "That's something him and I have talked about—playing together again."
Aldridge has remained productive in five years with the Spurs. He was averaging 18.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 blocks across 53 appearances before the 2019-20 season was delayed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic. His statistics from his last five seasons with Portland, however, were superior (22.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 blocks).
Both the Blazers (29-37) and Spurs (27-36) had struggled to remain competitive in the deep Western Conference, however, and were on pace to miss the playoffs before the campaign was put on hold.
It could lead both organizations to consider shaking up their rosters during the offseason. Whether an Aldridge reunion with Portland could be in the cards as part of that is a mystery, though.