Jackie MacMullan from ESPN told CSNNE.com that the San Antonio Spurs could potentially move forward LaMarcus Aldridge before the season’s end. Stay Tuned For Updates.
Thursday, October 20 – LA Refutes Reports, Says He’s Happy
On an episode of the Jim Rome show, Aldridge dismissed any report of him being unhappy in San Antonio:
I didn’t buy into it. I haven’t heard anything about it. I talk to [Popovich] daily and he’s always telling me that I’m doing great. Trying to be a more of a leader. He’s put me in positions where I can be more of a leader. As long as the guys here aren’t saying bad things to me. All my teammates have said nothing but great things to me.
I’m winning. Of course I’m happy. That’s why I don’t buy into the rumors. I feel like I do my job here and I feel like I’ve done everything that they’ve asked. That’s why I haven’t bought into the rumors.
Wednesday, October 19 – Aldridge Wants To Be Team’s Centerpiece
According to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News, Aldridge was pitched last summer that he would be the center of the Spurs’ offense. With the emergence of Kawhi Leonard, the chance of an Aldridge-centric offense is slim, and that’s what could be attributed to him being unhappy with the franchise.
There are still contradicting reports, with a source close to San Antonio saying that there is turmoil between the two parties.
Tuesday, October 18 – Dissatisfaction In The Alamo
The San Antonio Spurs signed LaMarcus Aldridge last summer after nine outstanding seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. On paper, the move only justified the Spurs as contenders, but now, according to MacMullan, “there’s some stuff going on” between the two parties.
That was prefaced by her bringing up the chance of Aldridge being moved before the end of the year. Now, after adding Pau Gasol, the chances of that are higher.
In Aldridge, the Spurs have a prolific scorer in the post who is one of the best at making tough shots. He was a huge part of Portland’s offense before leaving, and averaged 18.6 shots per game over the course of his last five years–he made 48.2 percent of them and averaged 22.2 points per game.
However, the unselfish system that Popovich runs isn’t in Aldridge’s wheelhouse, and the ball needs to stick with him to be effective. San Antonio based their offense around him and Leonard, and Aldridge averaged fewer shots per game but was more efficient and shot a career-best 51.3 percent from the field; as far as shots go, Kawhi Leonard averaged 15.1 attempts a night, Aldridge was at 14.1.
At 31, Aldridge still has a few years left in him, and he can stretch them out even further since his game is more finesse than power. One thing that should concern the Spurs, though, is how he performs on defense.
There’s no Tim Duncan, which means it’ll be tougher to mask the deficiencies that Aldridge has on that side of the ball.
San Antonio was fortunate enough to pick up Pau Gasol this offseason, who’s a better system fit than Aldridge. In an offense with so much ball movement, everyone needs to be a willing and able passer–Gasol is that, and a center who can deliver pin-point passes adds another dynamic. Defensively, Gasol is still an excellent rim protector, but he’s no Duncan.
Their defensive dropoff won’t be catastrophic, but it’ll be noticeable.
If the two aren’t able to co-exist, and Gasol’s versatility outperforms Aldridge’s low-post proficiency, look for R.C. Buford to be more receptive to trade offers.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference
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