LaMarcus Aldridge Rumors: 'Optimism' PF Will Sign with Heat After Spurs Buyout

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 27, 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

The Miami Heat have traded for Victor Oladipo, Trevor Ariza and Nemanja Bjelica over the past couple of weeks, but they apparently aren't done adding to their roster with fewer than two months remaining before the regular season ends.

Per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald on Saturday, there was "optimism" LaMarcus Aldridge would join the team after the San Antonio Spurs officially bought out his contract.

"Sources close to Heat reiterate to me and Anthony Chiang today that there remains optimism LaMarcus Aldridge will sign with Heat after clearing waivers," Jackson tweeted. Nothing 100 percent definite, but that remains expectation."

Jackson followed up by saying that Aldridge was expected to clear waivers later Saturday but that he may not sign immediately.

Later in the day, Aldridge's agent, Jeff Schwartz, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that his client agreed to terms with the Brooklyn Nets.

Aldridge, a seven-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA player, has averaged 19.4 points and 8.3 rebounds over a 15-year NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers and Spurs. He's posted 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game for the Spurs but hasn't played since March 1.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich previously told reporters earlier in March that Aldridge and the team had mutually agreed to part ways. Popovich also made sure to call Aldridge a "great teammate" who had done "everything we've asked."

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

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

Aldridge is headed to Brooklyn to join a clear NBA title contender. If he chose South Beach, he would have joined a Heat team looking to win back-to-back Eastern Conference titles. However, Miami has struggled of late, losing six straight to drop to 22-24 in the East.

The top-heavy conference has created a situation where the middle of the pack is bunched together, though, so Miami is only two games back of the Charlotte Hornets for fourth despite currently sitting in eighth. The Heat will have to look elsewhere to bolster their team now, however.