LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs to Part Ways; SAS Reportedly Engaged in Trade Talks

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

LaMarcus Aldridge's time with the San Antonio Spurs is coming to a close. 

According to multiple reports, Aldridge and the Spurs have decided to part ways, and the team is exploring trade scenarios:

Jeff McDonald @JMcDonald_SAEN

LaMarcus Aldridge's time with the Spurs is done. Pop says he and the team have mutually agreed to part ways.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

There's a level of confidence that a trade partner will be found for Aldridge -- perhaps even in the next week -- and no movement toward a contract buyout, sources tell ESPN.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters the following Wednesday regarding Aldridge:

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

Gregg Popovich on LaMarcus Aldridge: https://t.co/OQN0U3jVNV

Aldridge, 35, is averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season while shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 36 percent from three. He's no longer the dangerous offensive threat he was in his prime, and his defense has always been an issue. 

With Aldridge on the court this season, the Spurs have been outscored by 5.6 points per 100 possessions, per NBA.com. When he sits, however, the Spurs outscore opponents by 3.1 points per 100 possessions. It's a sizable shift, especially for a Spurs team that has started a surprising 18-14 this year and is currently in position to secure a playoff berth.

With the Spurs transitioning to a core built around young players like Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV, cutting ties with Aldridge makes sense.

It might not be the easiest trade to orchestrate given his $24 million salary, but contending teams in need of a rotational big will likely have interest:

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk

Just a reminder, LaMarcus Aldridge makes $24 million. That's a lot of salary to match, and for the man who had become Jakob Poeltl's backup.

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat

Aldridge earning $24M this season in final year of deal. Heat have cap filler (Leonard, Olynyk, Iguodala) to make deal work under cap, but how much of an asset for a rental, unless there is indication of a re-up? Herro? Nunn? Robinson? Achiuwa? https://t.co/436BzGiopC

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

If you want LaMarcus Aldridge as one of your top guys, he’s not that player anymore. As a third big and rotation player, he can help all sorts of teams. He can still eat as an offensive hub on a second unit. Just doesn’t move well enough to be a key starter or closer.

Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix

You know who could use LaMarcus Aldridge? The Portland Trail Blazers.

Aldridge is the latest big-name veteran to cut ties with his team midseason, following Blake Griffin (bought out by the Detroit Pistons before signing with the Brooklyn Nets) and Andre Drummond (being shopped by the Cleveland Cavaliers). 

After parts of six seasons with the Spurs, Aldridge will soon be moving on.