The San Antonio Spurs don’t know how to stay bad or mediocre, even by their high standards for long. After getting bounced out of the first round in an exciting series against the Clippers, the Spurs decided it was time to reload. That’s the sign of great organizations, they don’t stay down for long, if at all. Look at what the Knicks and Lakers are doing, they let things go for too long. Now, they’re in situations in which they have to wait and grow into a contender. San Antonio? They’re instantly seen as one of the best teams in the West, maybe the league after the addition of LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs gave the former Blazer a four-year $80 million dollar max deal.
Aldridge will sign a four-year, $80 million maximum contract with San Antonio, league source tells Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 4, 2015
The former Blazer big man was being courted by almost everyone with the cap space large enough to pay him. The Phoenix Suns even traded players to clear the proper amount of cap space to sign Aldridge, the Lakers had two meetings with him, and Pat Riley had dinner with LaMarcus to ask him to keep his options open for next year’s free agent market (per several reports). At the end, none of that matter as Aldridge made the most logical decision from a basketball and career standpoint. He joined one of the league’s best organizations with arguably the greatest coach in the league. He’s instantly in a situation that’s different from any other moment in his career, he’s on a team that is capable of contending for a championship. A culture like no other, he’ll be part of an organization that deems anything short of hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy a failure.
In the end with Aldridge, the lure of the Spurs monolith — and his Texas home — were too difficult to overcome. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 4, 2015
Aldridge was deemed the closest impersonator to the great Tim Duncan in a Tom Haberstroh article in 2012. Now, he gets a chance to prove Tom correct. Similar to when Duncan came into the league, Aldridge gets to be the young guy next to the Hall of Famer that is near the end of his career. David Robinson willingly took a backseat to the younger, extremely talented Duncan. Expect Duncan to do the same in this situation, give Aldridge the room to excel in Duncan’s old position at power forward. Timmy is fully capable of playing center and presents teams with size an interesting conundrum as Duncan has showed he still has gas left in his tank. Maybe not against small ball teams, but that’s what LaMarcus is here for. Aldridge can play center in those small lineups, giving the Spurs the advantage in those situations.
While this move was made to compete for a title in the short term, in the upcoming season, don’t let that cloud what it means for the big picture. The Spurs have found Duncan’s successor to pair with the talented and newly paid Kawhi Leonard (5-year, $90 million) for the post Dunca-Parker-Ginobli era. Not to mention, San Antonio still kept their two prized backups to Parker in Patty Mills and Corey Joseph. They retained Danny Green’s services as well, to the tune of $45 million for four years. Expect Kyle Anderson aka ‘Slo-Mo’ to play more of a role going forward as well. The Spurs do what they do best, reload and contend.
While there have been multiple reports coming out in the last 24 hours, really since Aldridge announced that he was coming home to Texas to play for the Spurs that are trying to justify the Blazers failure to retain Aldridge. The negativity is interesting since it was kept in house all of this time, feel free to check a couple of those out here and here. The point is none of those who feel that way can say that this, San Antonio wasn’t the best destination for Aldridge. There’s also the possibility that he maxes out his potential in that system on both ends of the floor.
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
San Antonio adds a 29-year-old power forward who averaged 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 1 block per game while playing through an injury. Aldridge is going to a place with a winning culture like no other, he gets a chance to play with and get mentored by one of the greatest bigs to have ever played the game in Tim Duncan. This was definitely a move that benefited all parties, the Spurs, if healthy, are instantly one of the NBA’s top three teams in the league.