The 2017 season has yet to begin and rumors of a potential trade have shaken the league. According to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, LaMarcus Aldridge‘s tenure in San Antonio may come to an end sooner than expected.
“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.”
Aldridge is entering his second season with the Spurs and is unhappy with his current role within the organization. For a guy that came in to replace Tim Duncan, he’s not OK with being forced to defer to Kawhi Leonard.
Aldridge’s unhappiness as a second option is nothing new for the five-time All-Star. In fact, this is the same problem that caused his departed from the Portland Trail Blazers last summer.
Despite emerging as one of the league’s top big men, Aldridge was never happy being overshadowed by Portland’s other stars. During his nine-year tenure with the Trail Blazers, multiple reports stated that Aldridge was unhappy playing second fiddle to Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, and, most recently, Damian Lillard.
After signing a four-year, $84 million deal with the Spurs, Aldridge cannot enter free agency until the summer of 2019. Which means, if these rumors are true, the Spurs have no choice but to trade their unhappy star.
If Aldridge wants to go to a team where he is the first and only option, there are only three teams to choose from: the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers, Suns, and 76ers all have young and valuable asset that could help San Antonio both now and in the future.
However, if he has any desires to win a championship in the next few years, then staying in San Antonio would be Aldridge’s best opportunity to win a title.