These San Antonio Spurs can’t exist forever. Fortunately for owner Peter Holt, GM R.C. Buford, and company, though, they aren’t half as uncomfortable admitting that depressing reality as we are.
The chief reason San Antonio opted against giving Kawhi Leonard the pricey extension he sought – and deserved, by the way – before the Halloween deadline was an acknowledgement that Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili could retire after this season. The Spurs would need to re-build if that unenviable scenario takes place, and would have enough cap space to do so by being able to sign a max-level free agent.
And while Marc Gasol has long been rumored as San Antonio’s top summer contingency plan, the most recent rumblings are that its eyeing another star Western Conference big man, too. From Zach Lowe of Grantland:
12. This could be random, but nearly a half-dozen executives from different teams mentioned the possibility of the Spurs luring LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency with a max contract…
It’s always wise to take sunny public comments about free agency with a pile of salt, but Aldridge is a bit of a different cat in this regard. Still: I found it interesting that after having heard very little San Antonio/Aldridge talk of any kind, ever, a bunch of unconnected higher-ups suddenly started mentioning it over the last two weeks. Someone said something to start the rumor mill churning, and the Blazers have always considered one of Aldridge’s home-state Texas teams the biggest threat to snag him away.
Interesting. It’s also a pipe dream.
When Aldridge announced that he wouldn’t sign an extension with Portland last summer, he also said that he wanted to be “the best Blazer ever” – that lack of a new deal was merely the most prudent way for him to ensure maximum financial security.
Presumably, nothing in the interim has dissuaded the three-time All-Star from wanting to re-sign with the Blazers for five more seasons come July. In fact, Aldridge is likely even more pleased with the prospect of staying in Rip City now considering Damian Lillard’s ascent to superstardom and the team’s excellent play so far this season.
Regardless, San Antonio should absolutely target Aldridge if the Duncan-era comes to a close after 2014-2015. Considering LMA’s affinity for Portland and the fact that the Blazers can offer him an extra year and $30 million more than any other suitor, though, the Spurs just shouldn’t get their hopes up.
What do you think?
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