Recently bought out big man LaMarcus Aldridge will not return to the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Quick indicates that he’s been told that the role in Portland would not be significant enough to merit a reunion. Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic is expected to return against the Orlando Magic on Friday night. Reserve center Enes Kanter has performed well in Nurkic’s absence. With the pivot position full again, Aldridge would become a third wheel.
Being told LaMarcus Aldridge to Portland will not be happening. Not a big enough role for him with Nurkic coming back Friday, and Enes Kanter playing so well.— Jason Quick (@jwquick) March 25, 2021
Aldridge was officially bought out by the San Antonio Spurs following today’s trade deadline
LaMarcus Aldridge gave back $7.25 million in contract buyout with the Spurs, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Aldridge was due $24M this season. The Miami Heat are a strong candidate to sign the former All-Star as a free agent, per sources, with Portland among others in mix.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 25, 2021
Earlier this week, The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported that the Miami Heat were in the box seat to land Aldridge if he was bought out.
Earlier this month, the Spurs announced that it had mutually agreed to part way with Aldridge with San Antonio working to find the 15-year veteran a new home.
Aldridge has spent the past six seasons with the San Antonio Spurs after dramatically leaving the Blazers during the 2015 offseason.
Aldridge had previously discussed a possibly return to Portland and a reunion with former teammate Damian Lillard.
In 21 games this season, Aldridge has put up averages of 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
The Blazers currently have two open roster spots following today’s trade with the Toronto Raptors, which sent Gary Trent, Jr. and Rodney Hood to Toronto for Norman Powell.