Report: Celtics looking to pursue LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews as package deal

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If LaMarcus Aldridge leaves the Trail Blazers, where would he go?

The Spurs are reportedly at or near the top of his list, and the Cavaliers could factor. The Lakers and Knicks will push for him, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mavericks and Rockets also pursue the native Texan.

A wildcard: Boston, which could also pursue pending free agent Wesley Matthews.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England:

My understanding is the Celtics are going to be open to putting together some type of package deal where they would not only bring in LaMarcus Aldridge, they’d also bring in one of his good friends by the name of Wes Matthews.

If the Celtics renounce all their free agents besides Jae Crowder and waive the unguaranteed contracts of Phil Pressey and Chris Babb, they’d be $23,700,485 below the projected salary cap.

Aldridge’s max contract projects to start at $19,027,800, not leaving much room for Matthews. Matthews might have drawn a max contract before his season-ending injury, and he’s still worth much more than a few million per year.

Boston could clear more cap space by trading a first-rounder to dump Gerald Wallace, and landing Aldridge and Matthews would easily justify losing that pick.

But why would Aldridge and Matthews sign with the Celtics? Brad Stevens is a good coach, and the Eastern Conference presents an easier road. But if the duo is just trying to recreate what it has together in Portland – a place Aldridge is still fond of – good luck doing it without Damian Lillard. Whatever advantages Boston has, it doesn’t have Lillard.

If Aldridge wants to leave the Trail Blazers, he should have better options. If he wants to stay with Wesley Matthews, they should re-up with Portland.