And maybe that’s underselling the Spurs.
sources insist — at, yes, this early juncture — that San Antonio sits near or at the top of Aldridge’s list … unless the Cleveland Cavaliers were to lose Kevin Love and then somehow manufacture a way to sign-and-trade for him.
I still lean toward Aldridge staying in Portland, where can make about $109 million over five years as opposed to about $81 million over four years elsewhere. The Trail Blazers are good when healthy, and Aldridge has a strong connection to the franchise.
But it seems increasingly likely Aldridge leaves.
If the Spurs are already at or near the top of his list, just wait until he gets further removed from his time with Portland. He might have loved his last nine years with the Trail Blazers, but that bond won’t feel as tight in July as it does now. Just a couple days ago, he was still giving Portland his all in the playoffs.
Cleveland would be an intriguing destination, and Aldridge could provide some of the floor-spacing Love did next to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving – though Aldridge doesn’t stretch beyond the 3-point arc like Love did. Aldridge also doesn’t pass like Love, and Aldridge is older.
Keeping Love should definitely be the Cavaliers’ preference, though it isn’t just their choice. Love has a player option, and he’s reportedly at least considering leaving Cleveland.
If the Cavaliers lose Love, signing-and-trading for Aldridge would be difficult. A deal would have to appease the Trail Blazers, who wouldn’t rush to help their All-Star forward leave Portland. And if it’s good enough for the Trail Blazers, Cleveland might be giving up too much.