In a phone interview with Rip City Mornings, Jabari Young of The Athletic discussed LaMarcus Aldridge’s status in San Antonio, and the possibility that he and the Spurs might part ways. In a packed Western Conference, the Spurs’ relevance may quickly fade. If so, he sees Aldridge attempting to find a way back to Portland.
LaMarcus Aldridge has said he could envision himself playing with Damian Lillard again. Could it happen via a reunion in Portland? Spurs insider @JabariJYoung thinks so.— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) July 15, 2019
"I think at the end of the day, someway, somehow, LaMarcus will be back in Portland."#RipCity pic.twitter.com/sHRARysN4E
Aldridge is on the last fully-guaranteed year of his current deal with the Spurs; he makes $26 million this season, but he only has a $7 million guarantee for 2020-21, with June 29 as the deadline for that decision. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that he has a 15% trade kicker.
The Blazers, who likely wouldn’t mind acquiring another high-quality big man, have multiple large expiring contracts this coming season that could be used in trade, if San Antonio decides it’s time to change the direction of their team. Hassan Whiteside is making $27.1 million, and Kent Bazemore will earn just over $19 million.