LaMarcus Aldridge officially has the green light to return to the NBA, and he may have a surprising destination in mind.
KC Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reported this week that Aldridge has been linked to the Chicago Bulls, the team that originally drafted him in 2006. Johnson adds that Aldridge has told associates that he has always wondered what it would be like to play for the Bulls.
Chicago selected Aldridge with the No. 2 overall pick in 2006 but traded his draft rights to the Portland Trail Blazers for the rights to Tyrus Thomas. The now 36-year-old Aldridge then spent the majority of his career in Portland. He briefly had to retire last season due to a heart condition but has since passed all necessary tests to return to basketball.
The Bulls are paper thin at power forward after trading seven-footer Lauri Markkanen to Cleveland in a multi-team deal. 20-year-old Patrick Williams is also undersized at 6-foot-7. But elsewhere, Chicago just signed Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan, and Alex Caruso to join Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. That could create a quality opportunity for the seven-time All-Star Aldridge.
LaMarcus Aldridge shockingly announced his retirement from the NBA back in April due to a heart condition, but he has reportedly been given the green light to resume his playing career.
Doctors have cleared Aldridge to play again, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The 36-year-old has passed all of the necessary tests, and he could soon re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets.
Aldridge was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in 2006. He said his irregular heartbeat always seemed to work itself out during games as his heart rate increased, but that did not happen when the Nets played the Los Angeles Lakers on April 10. That frightening experience was enough to convince Aldridge to give up playing.
After he was pursued by multiple teams following his buyout with the San Antonio Spurs, Aldridge decided to sign with Brooklyn. He averaged 13.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game between the Nets and Spurs last season.
Aldridge is a seven-time All-Star, with his most recent appearance coming in 2019. He could be a nice addition to Brooklyn’s frontcourt if he remains healthy.
It has been more than a month now since LaMarcus Aldridge shockingly announced his retirement from the NBA due to a heart condition, and the transition has not been easy for the NBA All-Star. Fortunately, he has just one regret from his playing career.
In a wide-ranging interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, Aldridge opened up how he has battled depression since his health forced him to retire. He explained more about his heart condition, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which he was diagnosed with in 2006. Aldridge said his irregular heartbeat always seemed to work itself out during games as his heart rate increased, but that did not happen when the Brooklyn Nets played the Los Angeles Lakers on April 10. That frightening experience was enough to convince Aldridge to give up playing.
Aldridge was then asked how he looks back on his nine seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. He said he regrets not having a better relationship with Damian Lillard.
“The only thing I look back on is I wish I would have worked at it better to have a relationship with Dame,” Aldridge said. “I feel like we both had our circles talking to us. Maybe that helped stifle our relationship, but we definitely have gotten a better relationship since then. But I think just trying to get a better relationship with him.”
Aldridge admitted that he struggled with not being viewed as “the guy” early on in Portland even though he was a No. 2 overall pick. He said trying to elevate to that status hurt his relationship with Lillard.
“I just feel like I wish Dame and I would’ve talked more and tried to develop a better relationship,” Aldridge added. “Part of it was he was young, trying to find his way, and I had worked so hard to get to this spot I was at. I wish I would have worked harder … the only regret I have is I wish I would have worked harder to have a relationship with Dame.”
As Aldridge mentioned, his relationship with Lillard appears to be fine now. Lillard paid Aldridge a huge compliment after Aldridge announced his retirement in April. There weren’t many reports about them not getting along during their time as teammates, but they clearly were not best friends.
Had Aldridge and Lillard formed a stronger bond, it’s possible Aldridge would have re-signed with the Blazers instead of leaving for San Antonio. Perhaps he feels that would have been the right move in hindsight.
No current Portland Trail Blazers player has more pull than Damian Lillard, and he’s already using it on behalf of former teammate LaMarcus Aldridge.
Lillard appeared on ESPN’s “Jalen and Jacoby” on Thursday shortly after Aldridge announced his sudden retirement from the NBA. The veteran guard immediately began lobbying the Blazers to retire Aldridge’s No. 12, adding that it would be “the proper respect.”
“It’s time, man. It’s time for the Blazers to retire No. 12,” Lillard said. “You know, he had an amazing career in a Trail Blazers uniform. … There’s no denying the kind of career he had in Portland and what he meant to this city, so, I think that’s the proper respect to retire his jersey because of who he was and what he did for this organization.”
Aldridge departed Portland in 2015 to sign with the San Antonio Spurs, but he never lost his affection for the Blazers. Aldridge is all over the franchise’s all-time leaderboards, ranking fifth in games played, first in total rebounds, fourth in blocks, and third in both points and field goals. Each team has its own standards for retiring numbers, but Aldridge certainly has a case.
LaMarcus Aldridge was considered a key addition for the Brooklyn Nets last month as they continue to load up for a championship run, but the veteran big man has surprisingly decided to call it a career.
Aldridge announced his retirement in a statement on Thursday. He revealed that he played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat during Brooklyn’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday and called it “one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.” The 35-year-old says he has since felt better but that the episode made him realize he needs to focus on his family and health.
You can read the full statement below:
Aldridge averaged 13.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game between the Nets and San Antonio Spurs this season, so he was still capable of contributing. He was pursued by multiple teams before he signed with Brooklyn after his Spurs buyout. He played 26.0 minutes per game in five contests with the Nets, which shows that they considered him an important part of their rotation.
Aldridge finishes his career with seven All-Star appearances, the most recent of which came in 2019.
Bronny James can’t help but think that Brooklyn is assembling their squad of mercenaries in response to his father’s continued reign atop the NBA.
The 16-year-old son of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James took to Snapchat this weekend to react to the news of LaMarcus Aldridge signing with the Nets. Bronny reposted a viral tweet that read, “All this to stop a 36-year-old man in Year 18” over a picture of his father.
The Nets are the presumptive favorites in the Eastern Conference, and the addition of the former All-Star Aldridge further loads the boat for them. But they will still have to match up against the defending champion Lakers led by James and Anthony Davis.
The Lakers also just made a similar move of their own. That means that we could be in line for an Infinity War-like battle in the NBA Finals this year.
Photo: Colin Hass-Hill/Eleven Warriors via CC-BY-SA 2.0
The Brooklyn Nets continue to absolutely load up for a championship run.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets have agreed to sign veteran forward LaMarcus Aldridge for the remainder of the season. Aldridge’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, later confirmed the agreement to ESPN.
This comes as a bit of a surprise, as a different team was viewed as a frontrunner for Aldridge after he was bought out by the San Antonio Spurs. Ultimately, the appeal for Aldridge became obvious. The team should be able to afford the veteran forward playing time, and he will have a great chance to win a title alongside James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant.
Aldridge averaged 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the Spurs this season. He’ll be able to take on a complementary role in what has become a loaded Brooklyn rotation.
The Miami Heat aren’t done trying to improve after making one of the bigger moves of the trade deadline.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Heat are expected to emerge as one of the frontrunners for LaMarcus Aldridge once he completes a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs.
Aldridge wasn’t traded ahead of Thursday’s deadline, which did not come as a huge shock. He’ll be one of the hottest names on the buyout market, as multiple contenders will want to make their pitch to him. Miami’s need for Aldridge could become more pressing after including forward Kelly Olynyk in the Victor Oladipo deal on Thursday.
Aldridge averaged 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season for San Antonio. He hasn’t played since March 1st, when the Spurs decided to part ways with him.
Kyle Lowry, Lonzo Ball and LaMarcus Aldridge are all players who were mentioned heavily in trade rumors ahead of the deadline. But the deadline has passed, and none of the three players were dealt.
Lowry’s name was in trade rumors for the last few months. He even seemed to give a goodbye to TV cameras on Wednesday night, but the Raptors did not find a trade partner for him. He is scheduled to be a free agent after the season.
Lonzo Ball was also mentioned in trade rumors. The New Orleans Pelicans ended up keeping him, but they did deal away shooting guard JJ Redick. The Pelicans could still keep Ball for another season before he would be a restricted free agent.
Aldridge and the Spurs agreed two weeks ago to part ways. However, San Antonio did not trade Aldridge. Instead, the two sides may end up agreeing to a contract buyout that would make Aldridge eligible to sign with other teams.
Even though these three players were not traded, there were still plenty of big moves made. Rajon Rondo and Lou Williams were swapped in a deal. The Orlando Magic unloaded many of their top players. And Victor Oladipo was sent to Miami in a big move.
Photo: Chensiyuan/Wikimedia via CC-by-S.A. 4.0
The Los Angeles Lakers appear poised to be one of the busiest teams once the NBA trade deadline passes and buyout season kicks into high gear.
The injury-depleted Lakers look ready to target key frontcourt additions if and when they become available. According to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News, a league source believes center Andre Drummond is likely to land with the Lakers once he receives a buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers, as is increasingly likely. The team is also expected to make a run at LaMarcus Aldridge, assuming he ends up being bought out by the San Antonio Spurs.
Both players are likely to have a robust market if and when they hit the open market. The Lakers will provide a tempting option both due to their status as contenders as well as the opportunity they can offer with Anthony Davis and LeBron James both out for at least a while longer.
There are some indications the Lakers may not wait until after the deadline to get active on the market, too.