NBA Superstar LaMarcus Aldridge announced via his twitter page his decision to sign with the San Antonio Spurs and return to his Texan roots.
I'm happy to say I'm going home to Texas and will be a Spur!! I'm excited to join the team and be close to my family and friends.
— Lamarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) July 4, 2015
Aldridge was drafted 2nd overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2006 and then had his rights traded to Portland for Tyrus Thomas and Viktor Khryapa. Aldridge went on to have a hugely successful career in Portland but went largely under the radar until the arrival of running mate Damian Lillard. Aldridge has only been out of the first round of the playoffs once when Lillard sunk the Rockets with a big time 3 in 2014. Aldridge is a 4 time all star & Aldridge has averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds in his last two seasons.
Aldridge’s choice to join the already established Spurs shows his innate desire to win. Few big name free agents join the Spurs for fear of playing second fiddle to the likes of Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Aldridge seemingly just wants to win, he craves a winning culture and should be commended for that.
With Head Coach Gregg Popovich pulling the strings, its easy to imagine the creative ways that Aldridge will be utilised in the Spurs’ free flowing offense. A great passer, distance shooter and incredible post game is versatile enough to be adapted seamlessly into the Popovich offense. He is not renowned as an elite defender and with the departure of Thiago Splitter, the Spurs will likely opt to have Duncan play as a rim protector at the 5 with Aldridge roaming as a stretch 4. They will likely have a Zach Randolph/Marc Gasol connection operating out of the low/high post.
Aldridge will be an easy inclusion into the Spurs’ already established team dynamic. He will fit nicely with their team first attitude, with a quiet and basketball focused nature that they have maintained this far.
Its also likely that Tim Duncan & Gregg Popovich will continue to play as long as they can with rumours swirling after their 2014 Championship that they may be looking at retiring while they were on top however the addition of Aldridge will keep the Spurs relevant for many more years. Although Duncan and Ginobili will likely retire as soon as their body’s dictate they should, they may join as coaches alongside Popovich who will enjoy another few years of Championship pursuit.