LaMarcus Aldridge Rumors: Heat Viewed as 'Most Likely' Landing Spot for Spurs PFMarch 22, 2021
The Miami Heat appear to be the favorite to land power forward LaMarcus Aldridge as the veteran big man prepares to part ways with the San Antonio Spurs.
Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
A big week looms for the Miami Heat, who continue to strongly covet Kyle Lowry via trade and who league sources increasingly peg as the most likely landing spot for LaMarcus Aldridge -- provided San Antonio can't find an Aldridge trade before Thursday's deadline and buys him out.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, league sources believe the Heat are the most likely team to add Aldridge as a free agent should the Spurs fail to find a trade partner and buy out his contract instead. It could be the start of a major week for Miami, which is reportedly pushing to complete a trade for Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry, as well.
In 21 games this year, the seven-time All-Star is averaging 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 46.4 percent from the field.
It's not entirely clear if the Heat would ask him to remain in a starting role or use him more off the bench. Now 35 years old and 15 years into his career, Aldridge has started 958 of 961 games since his rookie season. Yet Miami's frontcourt is already in solid shape with Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk starting ahead of KZ Okpala and rookie Precious Achiuwa.
While Olynyk has been mentioned in trade talks, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, it's not immediately clear if he'll be on the move before the March 25 deadline.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers have also been rumored as possible destinations for Aldridge if the Heat are unable to land him.
Aldridge is finishing up a two-year, $50 million contract and will become a free agent after this season. That heavy price tag may make a buyout more likely considering how much salary teams would be adding via trade.
In the meantime, the Heat continue to plot a return to the NBA Finals after falling to the Los Angeles Lakers last year.