Tag: LaMarcus Aldridge

San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder - Western Conference Finals Game 6

Report: Thunder to open 2015-16 season at home against San Antonio on October 28


The full schedule for the 2015-16 regular season is expected to be released this week, but bits and pieces of it have been trickling out ahead of the announcement. The Oklahoman‘s Darnell Mayberry is reporting that the Thunder will kick off their season at home against the Spurs in what should be a pretty great matchup:

This will be a phenomenal game, assuming everybody’s healthy. The Spurs made the biggest free-agent acquisition of the summer in LaMarcus Aldridge, and stole David West for the veteran’s minimum. Kevin Durant played just 27 games last season after undergoing foot surgery, and the Thunder expect the 2014 league MVP to be healthy to start the year. There’s a very good chance this matchup could be a preview of the Western Conference Finals, as it has been twice before.

Report: Spurs signing undrafted Keifer Sykes

Cleveland Cavaliers v Milwaukee Bucks
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The Spurs had to sacrifice some depth – Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Marco Belinelli, Aron Baynes – to sign LaMarcus Aldridge and build one of the NBA’s strongest teams.

That has left San Antonio needing the preseason to round out its roster. The Spurs have:

  • 13 players whose salaries are fully guaranteed
  • 2 players whose salaries are mostly guaranteed (Matt Bonner and Jimmer Fredette)
  • 1 player whose salary is unguaranteed (Reggie Williams)
  • 1 player whose guarantee is unknown but probably low (Youssou Ndoye)

San Antonio is adding another player to the mix.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Sykes is quick and explosive, and he uses those skills well to get the basket and pester opponents defensively. But he also has to maximize his athleticism, because he’s just 6-foot and not a good outside shooter.

He’ll have a tough time making the team, because the Spurs are loaded at point guard with Tony Parker, Patty Mills and Ray McCallum. All three already have fully guaranteed salaries. Most likely, Sykes gets waived and has his D-League rights assigned to San Antonio’s affiliate, the Austin Spurs.

Still, San Antonio’s roster instability gives Sykes at least a chance to make a strong impression and land a spot on the parent club.

Team USA announces 34 expected minicampers: DeAndre Jordan and Michael Carter-Williams in, Derrick Rose out

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Clippers

Team USA started with a 28-player pool for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

That was narrowed for the World Cup with two players added, bringing the total to 30.

A few more players were added during World Cup tryouts, increasing the pool to 33.

A report last month listed seven newcomers, giving the Americans 40 known candidates for Rio.

Today, Team USA announced 34 players – including two previously unknowns – were expected to attend next week’s minicamp, which USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo called mandatory for Olympic consideration:

  • Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
  • LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs)
  • Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors)
  • Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
  • Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)
  • Michael Carter-Williams (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
  • Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
  • Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
  • DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
  • Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
  • Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
  • Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings)
  • Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
  • Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
  • Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • James Harden (Houston Rockets)
  • Tobias Harris (Orlando Magic)
  • Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)
  • Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets)
  • Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
  • Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic)
  • Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Mason Plumlee (Portland Trail Blazers)
  • Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
  • John Wall (Washington Wizards)
  • Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)

At this point, there aren’t many surprise inclusions. The two big ones: Jordan and Carter-Williams, neither of whom had previously been mentioned for the player pool. Jordan has emerged as one of the NBA’s best centers, and he could definitely make the Olympic roster. The road will be much more difficult for Carter-Williams, who has a strong crop of point guards in front of him.

Carter-Williams’ additions probably has something to do with the players previously in the pool who aren’t expected to attend the minicamp:

  • Tyson Chandler (Phoenix Suns)
  • Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors)
  • Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks)
  • David Lee (Boston Celtics)
  • Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
  • Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)
  • Deron Williams (Dallas Mavericks)

Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke was reportedly extended a minicamp invite but he’s not on the list of expected attendees. It’s unclear whether the report was inaccurate or Burke declined.

Lillard and Rose are the big losses. Lillard seems fed up with USA Basketball, so his no-show will be no surprise. Rose’s is a little less expected, though we saw the possibility coming. Rose played in the World Cup, and it seemed his relationship with Team USA assistant coach Tom Thibodeau helped secure him a roster spot. Since the Bulls have fired Thibodeau, maybe that distanced Rose from USA Basketball. More time off could certainly help the point guard after his multiple serious injuries.

Bottom line: This player pool is strong, and Colangelo will have no trouble assembling the best roster in the world before the 2016 Olympics. The key is finding the ideal roster – the one that best blends talent and fit. This minicamp will be mostly ceremonial, but that process will continue there.

LaMarcus Aldridge says he’s building a separate house just for his shoe collection

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge has a lot of shoes. He can certainly afford them — he’s made around $86 million in his nine-year NBA career so far and just signed a four-year, $84 million deal with the Spurs. And being a Jordan Brand athlete, he gets a lot of them for free, too. But just how many pairs does the four-time All-Star have? So many that he’s working on building a separate house just to hold them, according to a new interview with SLAM:

Here’s what Aldridge says about his shoe collection:

I just built a house in Dallas and I have a pretty massive closet in it. I’ve got to have a huge shoe section in the middle. I filled it up within a couple weeks of being home. I have probably like 100 inside, and then about 50 on the top. I’m starting to put them on the floor. I have crazy shoes right now.

What I’m doing right now is, I’m in the process of building a separate house behind my house just for shoes, like a little show room.

These are the perks of being a high-profile NBA star.

Gregg Popovich expects Tim Duncan to play the “same boring game” as usual

Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich

For almost two decades, the Spurs have been clinically dominant. They’ve won five titles since 1999, anchored by one of a handful of the greatest players ever in Tim Duncan and one of the three of four best coaches of all time in Gregg Popovich. Throughout that time, the Spurs have been called “boring” by fans and the media, because of their dependable excellence and consistency. Even Popovich agrees with that assessment, but it gets results.

Here’s what Popovich said in a recent interview on SiriusXM’s NBA channel, when asked what he expects out of Duncan in his 19th season with the Spurs:

“Same boring game. He’s going to come to the game, he’s going to score ‘x’ number of points and ‘x’ number of rebounds. He’s going to lead, he’s going to tell me what to do during the game and then we’re going to go home. It’s going to be the same routine as usual.”

That sounds about right. Duncan showed no signs at all of slowing down last season, making third team All-NBA and second team All-Defense at age 38. And the Spurs’ summer additions of LaMarcus Aldridge and David West only add to their frontcourt depth and lessen the load that Duncan will have to carry. It’s tough to project the Western Conference playoff picture in August because there are so many elite-level teams, but there’s not a team that’s clearly better than the Spurs. Their chances to make the Finals are as good as anyone’s at this point.