Author: Brett Pollakoff

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game One

Gregg Popovich won’t be recruiting free agents at midnight, doesn’t want them if that factors into their decision


As Tuesday night becomes Wednesday morning once the clock strikes midnight, NBA teams will be lining up, both by telephone and in person, to make their free agent pitches.

The San Antonio Spurs are expected to be a strong contender to land LaMarcus Aldridge, but while they would love to add the talented All-Star big man to the roster, Gregg Popovich won’t be around personally to do any late-night recruiting.

From Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News:

Tonight, an hour before midnight, the Spurs will begin calling free agents. Gregg Popovich, however, says he won’t join in.

“I’m not calling anyone at midnight,” he said. “I’ll be in bed. And if that’s the difference in someone coming or not coming, then I don’t want them.”

That’s Popovich, mixing gruff humor with the truth. That’s also the only sales pitch that can work with LaMarcus Aldridge.

The free-agent prize from Texas, after all, has other options that include more money and more glamour and less pressure.

Aldridge has to want exactly what Popovich has to offer.

The Spurs, more than any other franchise, have a program in place that’s bigger than any of their star players. Popovich has gotten superstars like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili to buy in selflessly over the years, and he isn’t about to change his ways to accommodate a new addition to the roster.

Aldridge is scheduled to meet with seven teams in total, with the Lakers and Rockets expected to be up first. The Spurs will get their chance, too, but not until Popovich has had a good night’s rest.

Report: Hawks ‘in the mix’ for Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis was the leading scorer for the Mavericks last season, but that doesn’t mean the team is exactly eager to have him back.

After opting out of the final year of a contract that would have paid him $8.72 million next season, Dallas reportedly won’t offer him an increase to return. And, his moodiness both on and off the court contributed to chemistry issues that were a contributing factor in the Mavericks failing to reach their potential last season.

There are scenarios where Ellis returning to the Mavericks may make sense for both sides. But for now, he’ll shop around a bit in free agency, and Atlanta is reportedly a team that may have some interest.

From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

Hearing that the Hawks are expected to be in the mix for Monta Ellis.

The Hawks are interesting, mainly because of the fact that the team that won 60 games during the regular season before stumbling to the Eastern Conference finals is facing so much uncertainty with its roster.

Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll are both unrestricted free agents, and it’s unclear if Atlanta will commit the dollars to both players that they’ll be able to earn by testing the market. Kyle Korver is recovering from multiple injuries which required surgery, and reserve Pero Antic is already gone.

The Hawks were world-beaters the first half of the season, but teams caught up with them as the year progressed. They could use some additional shot creation on the offensive end of the floor, which Ellis is certainly capable of providing. But it probably depends on what the rest of the team looks like before Atlanta considers the move, because it would be a fairly drastic change to what worked so well for the bulk of the previous season.

LaMarcus Aldridge to meet with seven teams in free agency; Lakers and Rockets are up first

Portland Trail Blazers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Five

Depending on who you believe, LaMarcus Aldridge may be leaning toward signing with the Lakers in free agency this summer.

Or, perhaps the Spurs are the frontrunners to retain his services.

All we know at this point is that it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that Aldridge re-ups with the Blazers, at any price. The fact that he has free agent meetings scheduled with seven teams in total — none of which are Portland — should help to hammer that point home.

From Ramona Shelburne of

The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets will get the first opportunities to meet with LaMarcus Aldridge shortly after the free-agency period officially begins at 9:01 p.m. PT Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Aldridge also will meet with the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors on Wednesday and with the New York Knicks on Thursday, league sources told

According to one source, the chance of Aldridge staying with the Portland Trail Blazers is “very unlikely.”

The Suns and the Raptors are the interesting teams, here, mainly because neither franchise has historically been seen as a desirable destination for marquee free agents to choose.

If the Lakers and the Spurs come calling with max money offers, however, they have to be considered the favorites among the teams on Aldridge’s somewhat long list.