LaMarcus Aldridge Trade Rumors: Knicks, Spurs PF Have 'Mutual Disinterest'March 21, 2021
Neither the New York Knicks nor San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge are reportedly interested in a union this season.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks and Aldridge have "mutual disinterest" in each other since Aldridge essentially plays the same role as All-Star power forward Julius Randle.
The 35-year-old Aldridge is in the final year of his contract, and if the Spurs are unable to trade him before Thursday's deadline, he is likely to be bought out.
Per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said earlier this month that the Spurs and Aldridge "mutually agreed for him to work on some opportunities elsewhere."
Aldridge is a seven-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection during his 15-year career with the Portland Trail Blazers and Spurs, but he is in the midst of his worst statistical season since his rookie campaign in 2006-07.
In 21 games this season, Aldridge is averaging just 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 25.9 minutes per game. He is also shooting just 46.4 percent from the field, the second-worst mark of his career.
Popovich has begun to give younger bigs such as Jakob Poeltl and Trey Lyles more playing time in anticipation of Aldridge moving on while also opting to go small at times, with DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker and Derrick White all averaging more minutes per contest than Aldridge.
Despite his poor play in relation to his career averages of 19.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, there could be a market for Aldridge, who is making $24 million this season.
The Knicks are seemingly a team that would benefit from his experience since they have a fairly young roster and haven't reached the playoffs since the 2012-13 season. New York does have a veteran head coach in Tom Thibodeau, however, as well as some veteran players he trusts such as Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson.
The Knicks have performed well above expectations this season, and with a 21-21 record, they are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference.
New York's biggest need is likely a backcourt playmaker to complement Rose, especially since the Knicks' leading assist man is Randle from the power forward position.
Berman named Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo and New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball as potential targets for the Knicks, as they would both better fill New York's needs than another big like Aldridge, especially with center Mitchell Robinson on the verge of returning from injury.