LaMarcus Aldridge Rumors: Heat Have Interest in Buyout Deal After Ariza TradeMarch 17, 2021
Fresh off acquiring Trevor Ariza from the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, the surging Miami Heat don't appear close to finishing improvements to their roster.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Miami is "expected to remain in contention" to sign LaMarcus Aldridge on the buyout market if the San Antonio Spurs are unable to trade him ahead of the March 25 deadline.
The Heat (22-18) have gone 9-1 in their last 10 games and moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Miami is now six games back of the first-place Philadelphia 76ers and closing ground rather quickly.
Aldridge's numbers have noticeably declined this season as the Spurs fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, yet that doesn't mean he couldn't help a contender down the stretch.
In 21 games, the center is posting 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 25.9 minutes per night. In Miami, there's a strong chance he'd be asked to provide depth off the bench behind Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk and rookie Precious Achiuwa.
If Aldridge can provide valuable minutes in shorter spurts, he could fit well. But he's likely get other buyout offers.
Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported Monday that the Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers are also interested in scooping up Aldridge if he's bought out of his expiring $24 million contract. The forward began his career with the Blazers, and a reunion would make plenty of sense. Portland is sixth in the Western Conference standings despite a clear need in the frontcourt.
The Celtics are in a similar position in the Eastern Conference.
As the trade deadline nears and the Spurs run out of potential trade partners, Aldridge's future looks increasingly up to him.