The Spurs miss the postseason for the first time in 23 years. The most successful franchise is likely to make significant changes that can improve the team’s future to compete as the Western Conference getting tougher. With or without the movements the Spurs will just settle to fight for another eight seed if we’re going to base on the current NBA season. The Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Rockets, Mavericks, Jazz are highly locked to be in the playoffs. While the mix of Pelicans, Thunder, Grizzlies, Blazers, and Spurs are in a battle for the remaining spot.
The Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t make a trip to the Orlando bubble game due to injury, he will play on the final year of his contract after the Spurs make it fully guaranteed back in January. He expands his game by shooting more threes which he converts 40% of it. But the Spurs are 9-9 including the bubble games when the seven-time All-Star is out. The Spurs had wins against the team great team like the Rockets and Jazz.
With some talks came out that Aldridge could be traded this offseason, the Blazers are the most perfect team for him. The five-time All NBA talent has been shopped by the San Antonio Spurs at the trade deadline but never materialized. The 13-year veteran mentioned that he wants to finish his career either in Portland or San Antonio.
Does it make a significant impact on the Spurs? Maybe! The Spurs are on the youth movements as the eight-game in Orlando is a little preview of the future. San Antonio is the most exciting team in the bubble with its own version of a small ball. They played seven competitive games, unlike the Portland Trail Blazers or Phoenix Suns, and Memphis Grizzlies which a gimme. With Aldridge on Spurs uniform, they played a slower pace which opposed the Spurs style of basketball that young talent wants to push.
So who could be a guy that can be exchanged for LaMarcus Aldridge? The Spurs could pry Jusuf Nurkic, Trevor Ariza, and a future pick. The Blazers big man still young that can really score but got exposed defensively by Anthony Davis and other Lakers bigs on their first-round showdown. With Aldridge, he’s still a force who never backs down physically. Damian Lillard wants to win badly and he believes his former buddy had some gas left on the tank. It’s hard for the team to rely more on the perimeter with Lillard and CJ McCollum. LaMarcus Aldridge demands the ball more often offensively which could lead to more wide-open shots outside the paint. This also makes sense for Portland as they can clear some cap space on 2021 which a lot of talents are available.
For the Spurs benefits, more future assets that they can use to add on a bunch of young talent they have. Jusuf Nurkic is only 25, although defensively is one of his weaknesses he’s a more mobile big man offensively. Also, a good playmaker on his size could help the Spurs team win some games. Nurkic contract is easy to move which is 4 million guaranteed in the final year. Trevor Ariza including in the package could be also a huge asset at the trade deadline for a contender who wants a locker room presence or some quality minutes from a veteran.
Outside of clearing the cap space for the Spurs, if they move Aldridge the veteran will find peace when sending back to the Blazers. He got a chance to help the team on his last ride to make a huge impact either they can win or make deep playoffs run. As we know the Spurs don’t hurt any feelings so sending him to Portland could make him happy.