Of all the teams that lost to the Warriors in the playoffs this past year, the Spurs are the team that can enter the 2017-18 season with the most confidence in their abilities to take down Golden State. San Antonio held a 20-plus point lead on the Warriors in Game 1 of their series before Zaza Pachulia’s now infamous step under foul knocked Kawhi Leonard out for the series.
In the subsequent three and a half games, the Warriors dominated in Leonard’s absence, and the Spurs’ secondary star LaMarcus Aldridge struggled to provide them with the offensive output they needed to compete with Golden State. Aldridge’s performance in the playoffs, with the end of the Rockets series serving as the exception, was less than stellar and it appears that San Antonio might be ready to move on from their big signing from 2015.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Mike C. Wright, the Spurs are actively exploring trade options for Aldridge, with the intent to move him for a top 10 pick in Thursday night’s draft.
The San Antonio Spurs, in pursuit of a top-10 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, have spoken to at least three teams about a possible trade involving power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, sources confirmed to ESPN.
It’s not a major surprise that the Spurs would look to move Aldridge this offseason. He has a player option for 2018-19, so the time to get some value in return for the former All-Star is likely now. Aldridge has played well for the Spurs in the regular season, but it was clear against the Warriors that he struggled to keep up with the pace of Golden State.
Moving Aldridge for a top 10 pick would accomplish two goals. It would give San Antonio a chance to land a young star for the future to pair with Leonard as they near the end of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili’s careers with the organization, and it also would further clear cap space for their pursuit of a star point guard on the free agent market.
Chris Paul has long been rumored to be a top target of the Spurs, and reportedly has interest in joining Pop and company in Texas, but he will also receive strong pushes from the Clippers, Rockets, and others. If San Antonio can’t land Paul, Shelburne reports that a certain former MVP could be on their radar.
Few would have expected Rose to pop up on the Spurs’ radar, but they might think they can get the most out of the oft-injured former Bulls star. Rose will likely come at a steep price, but if they can’t make max room available for Paul, he might be an option for just under the max.