Report: LaMarcus Aldridge may be unhappy Kawhi Leonard is star of the show
LaMarcus Aldridge knew he was joining a team-first organization when he agreed to sign with the San Antonio Spurs, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have visions of being the face of the franchise.
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan reported earlier in the week that the Spurs may end up trading LaMarcus Aldridge before the end of the season. The report was surprising given that Aldridge was productive and helped the Spurs win 67 games last year, but there may be plenty of truth to it.
Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News spoke with a league source who claims the Spurs are open to dealing Aldridge. The reason for that could be that Aldridge is unhappy Kawhi Leonard has emerged as the new focal point of the team’s offense.
Those close to the situation suggest Aldridge may not be happy at the moment. The belief is the Spurs pitched him on becoming the center of their offense when they recruited him in 2015, and that hasn’t occurred with the rise of Kawhi Leonard. However, a team source said there are currently no problems with Aldridge, adding he is apart of the Spurs’ future.
If you recall, Aldridge went through a similar situation with the Trail Blazers. Though there was no serious turmoil between the two, Aldridge wasn’t exactly thrilled with the accession and eventual takeover by Damian Lillard as the face of the franchise.
Aldridge’s contract in San Antonio runs through the 2017-2018 season, with a player option worth $22 million for the 2018-2019 season. Young speculates that the Phoenix Suns, who are now coached by Aldridge’s former teammate Earl Watson, could emerge as a potential suitor. The Boston Celtics also have a plethora of draft picks, and Danny Ainge is always looking to make a big splash.
Leonard is an MVP candidate, and most players would be thrilled to play with someone like that. However, it’s possible Aldridge envisioned himself being the new star of the show when Tim Duncan retired. If you want to know how important the Aldridge signing was for the Spurs, read this. That said, we know how quickly things can change in the NBA.