Gregg Popovich announced today that the San Antonio Spurs and LaMarcus Aldridge have mutually agreed to part ways. Aldridge will remain away from the team in the meantime. The Spurs are hopeful that they’ll be able to find a trade partner for Aldridge instead of buying him out.
ESPN story with @wojespn on LaMarcus Aldridge’s looming divorce with the Spurs, who are optimistic that they will be able to trade the seven-time All-Star instead of buying him out: https://t.co/YkbJDu9TQB— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 11, 2021
Back in 2015, Pat Riley met with Aldridge in free agency despite not having any cap space. Could he end up joining Miami six years later?
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald pointed to a potential trade scenario of Meyers Leonard, who is also away from his team, and Kelly Olynyk for Aldridge. Jackson mentioned that the Heat have valued Iguodala’s contributions this season.
Unless the Heat gives up Iguodala (who they value this season), would be tough to make money/cap work with Heat Aldridge trade unless it's for Meyers's contract and Olynyk. But still short a big in that scenario. You could do that and then acquire Bjelica into trade exception.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) March 11, 2021
For the Heat, such a trade would essentially mean flipping Olynyk for Aldridge. Leonard is injured for the season. Even at his advanced age — he’ll turn 36 in July — Aldridge is still an upgrade over Olynyk, who is shooting a career-low from 3-point range this season. Unlike Jae Crowder, though, Aldridge isn’t a versatile defender who allows the Heat to switch smoothly. Like a potential deal for Nikola Vucevic, trading for Aldridge would shift Adebayo to the four.
Aldridge’s age depresses his trade value, so the Heat won’t have to give up Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson in a trade. Miami may even try to give away Moe Harkless or Chris Silva, who have both barely played in a year the Heat have needed everyone to contribute, including two-way players Max Strus and Gabe Vincent.
But how would Riley react if San Antonio asks for Kendrick Nunn, who has regained his starting position and become more valuable with injuries having derailed Avery Bradley’s season?