The Portland Trail Blazers are among oddsmakers’ favorites as the next destination for San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge. Earlier this week, Spurs coach Gregg Popovic announced that Aldridge would no longer be with the team, and the two sides were negotiating ways to move him to a favorable destination. This engendered plenty of speculation, both locally and nationally, about a reunion with the Blazers, Aldridge’s first team.
Aldridge left Portland for San Antonio via free agency in 2015, causing much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Rose City. A return would provide a storybook closing to that circle. The buzz is enough that oddmakers @SportsLine have listed Portland as second only to the Miami Heat as Aldridge’s next likely stop.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers:— SportsLine (@SportsLine) March 11, 2021
Which will be LaMarcus Aldridge's next team?
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As we pointed out when the news broke, the Blazers have no practical way to trade for the 35-year-old center. His $24 million contract is unreachable with the trade assets currently on Portland’s roster. The Blazers would have to hope Aldridge reaches the free agency market, becoming available for a veteran’s minimum contract. They’d then be in competition with 28 other NBA teams to sign him for that amount.
Aldridge has averaged 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game in 21 appearances with the Spurs this season. He is shooting .464 from the field and .360 from the three-point arc.