The silly season is officially here. Barely an hour after a report surfaced that the Los Angeles Lakers have exchanged a trade proposal with the Sacramento Kings for DeMarcus Cousins comes word that the league’s glamour franchise could possibly add another All-Star big man to the fold, too.
…sources said this week that Aldridge is actually thinking more and more about a free-agent jump to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers, sources added, firmly believe they now will be in the Aldridge hunt.
The sweet-shooting power forward maintained that Portland would be his long-term home when he decided against signing an extension last summer. In the past few months, however, it’s become increasingly apparent that Aldridge, a Texas native, would take a serious look at leaving the Blazers come July – potentially for the San Antonio Spurs or Dallas Mavericks.
Though Yahoo Sports originally suggested otherwise, Stein also notes that Thursday’s trade of Nicolas Batum to the Charlotte Hornets is simply the most recent development increasing the likelihood that Aldridge leaves the Pacific Northwest.
Also a potential factor in the four-time All-Star’s coming decision? The chance that Cousins will be wearing purple-and-gold by the time the market officially opens next Wednesday.
Many league followers balked when it became apparent that Sacramento’s asking price for Cousins was Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and the No. 2 pick in Thursday’s draft. Though that indeed represents something close to a king’s ransom, the Lakers wouldn’t only be receiving Cousins in that potential swap, but also the sense of promise that accompanies the presence of a franchise cornerstone – one of which other free agents would surely take notice.
We assumed any major corollaries of Cousins’ move to Southern California would be felt during the next two summers. But if Los Angeles GM Mitch Kupchack could work enough salary cap magic to add Aldridge just shortly after acquiring Cousins, that optimistic line of thinking will have obviously proven not quite hopeful enough.
We’ll keep you updated on this story as more details become available.