LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly planned to meet with seven teams in free agency – Lakers, Rockets, Spurs, Mavericks, Suns, Raptors and Knicks.
But don’t forget about the Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard wants to make sure Aldridge doesn’t forget about the Trail Blazers.
Aldridge has made no secret about his desire to explore the market. Considering he once emphasized his loyalty to the Trail Blazers and now no longer does, that doesn’t bode well for Portland.
But never count out the team that can offer the most money.
The Trail Blazers could pay Aldridge about $3.4 million more than anyone else over the next four years plus tack on a fifth season worth about $25 million. Or, if Aldridge prefers, he could sign a one-year contract (presumably with a player option for year two) and re-ink in 2016 – right when he qualifies for a higher max contract with 10 years of experience and the salary cap skyrockets. That would also give him the flexibility to leave Portland then, too.
A one-year contract elsewhere now wouldn’t allow his new team to give him his full max in 2016 without using cap space. So, the one-year route makes most sense through re-signing, though that’s not mandatory.
Essentially, if Aldridge is unsure of his plan, returning to Portland on a short-term deal makes a lot of sense. It might even make sense on a long-term deal. He has achieved plenty of success there, and he has teammates who seem to support him.