Tag: Portland Trail Blazers

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.

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 ESPN.com:

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 ESPN.com.

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.

Report: Free agent Marc Gasol to meet with Grizzlies, nobody else

Marc Gasol

If you had fantasied your team had a shot to pry Marc Gasol out of Memphis… sorry.

Gasol is in Spain as free agency is set to open as the calendar flips to July 1. While there he is meeting with only one team, the Memphis Grizzlies, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

In the latest signal Marc Gasol is going nowhere in free agency, the Memphis Grizzlies center is scheduling no meetings with rival teams interested in him, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Gasol will instead host a contingent of Grizzlies officials in his native Spain on Wednesday morning, raising the possibility that a verbal agreement on a new contract will quickly follow.

While guys like LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan started to flirt with other teams and have multiple meetings lined up, Gasol hasn’t tried to lead anyone on — he never planned to leave Memphis. He loves the city, it’s where he went to high school, and he’s playing for a team just a couple shooters away from being a threat to win it all.

There isn’t much drama here; Gasol will get the max, and Memphis will remain a threat to everyone in the West for years.