From the looks of it, the San Antonio Spurs are looking at everyone who may be traded just to land LaMarcus Aldridge.
Numerous reports are circulating that the Spurs are hoping to land LaMarcus Aldridge by trading current power forward Tiago Splitter. This week two more names have been inserted into said trade, that being Boris Diaw and Australian Boomers Patty Mills.
These two players have been huge for the Spurs chemistry and both have made huge plays for the Spurs in recent years, so this is purely a business decision, one made in the hope to land one of the NBA’s top 10 players.
If Mills is added to the Splitter / Aldridge trade it will be due to the salary issues the Spurs will face if Duncan and Manu Ginobili return. Both players are receiving midsize salaries and with Diaw set to receive $21 million over three years and Mills owed $6.5 million for the next two seasons this may need to be moved to fit Aldridge in financially (Splitter is set to receive $16.7 million over the next two years),
“If Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili come back on cheaper deals, it will nip away at San Antonio’s ability to offer LaMarcus Aldridge or anything else a max contract – to the point that the Spurs might have to deal a player with a midsize salary, like Boris Diaw or Patty Mills, to absorb any max-level free agent who agrees to go there,” Grantland’s Zach Lowe wrote Tuesday.
So if you do the math, these three players’ salaries could apparently help the Spurs make a serious attempt at securing the services of LaMarcus Aldridge.
For his part, Aldridge seems to be interested in joining the Spurs where he is seen as the successor to the eventually retiring Tim Duncan. Aside from the Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks and the Cleveland Cavaliers are likewise expected to compete for the big man’s service’s, this being a big reason why the Spurs are trying to make player movements now. Potentially having more salary space and the ability to give a larger contract to Aldridge would be a huge bargaining chip once free agency opens.
Aside from Kawhi Leonard who is set to get a new max contract, it remains to be seen who will come and who will go. For now, the trio of Diaw, Mills and Splitter have been floating around though it remains to be seen who could be interested in picking these players up.
For Portland, this seems like a solid offer. All three veteran players could provide good minutes for a team and a Patty Mills return to Portland, the city where it all started for him, would provide the Blazers with a solid back-up to current star Damian Lillard.
San Antonio needs t make a desicion very shortly about what to do about its own soon-to-be free agents, namely Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Danny Green and Marco Belinelli. Leonard and Parker – Duncan and Ginobili too, if they decide to come back- are locks to be re-signed, it’s just a matter of for how much
Expect even Green and Belinelli could become salary cap casualties if the front office can’t clear space via trades to make sure they have a chance at the LaMarcus Aldridge “sweepstakes”