Rumor: Spurs could trade LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s not fitting as well as they hoped

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The last time a player who made an All-NBA team was traded prior to the end of the next season was when the Suns sent 2013-14 All-NBA third-team guard Goran Dragic to the Heat.

Could LaMarcus Aldridge be next?

Jackie MacMullan on CSN New England:

Sources were telling me the other day that LaMarcus Aldridge may not even finish the year with the Spurs. That experiment hasn’t quite worked out the way they hoped.

A follow-up discussion with host Gary Tanguay revealed a little more:

  • Tanguay: “LaMarcus Aldridge. You want him? I mean I love him.”
  • MacMullan: “No.”
  • Tanguay: “You don’t want him?”
  • MacMullan: “Not after what I heard the other day, I don’t.  No, of course. You would take him on if you could, because he’s an automatic double-double. But there’s just some things about him.”
  • Tanguay: “There’s some stuff going on?”
  • MacMullan: “Yeah, there’s some stuff going on, maybe.”

That sounds rather ominous.

Aldridge found his footing in San Antonio more quickly than I expected last year, when he signed from the Trail Blazers. Instead, he made the All-Star team and All-NBA third team. He also proved instrumental in the Spurs going up 2-1 on the Thunder in the second round.

But Oklahoma City figured out his post-up game, and slowing him allowed a comeback. Perhaps, San Antonio is worried the book is out on Aldridge’s playing habits. MacMullan’s wording suggests something deeper.

If that’s the case, its’ difficult to judge Aldridge’s trade value.

He has two reasonably priced years left on his contract at $20,575,005 and $21,461,010 then can and likely will opt out in 2018. It would make some sense to trade the 31-year-old Aldridge now while the return seemingly remains high and build around 25-year-old Kawhi Leonard.

But San Antonio relies on a few players even older than Aldridge: Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol. Resetting would be much more complicated than trading just Aldridge.

I’m not sure what the Spurs are angling for here, but there’s a decent amount of smoke emanating from San Antonio.