Does LaMarcus Aldridge make San Antonio the favorite to win the West?
The San Antonio Spurs are the winners of coveted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge announced his return to his home state via Twitter.
His deal will be a four-year maximum contract worth more than $80 million, with an opt-out after the third year.
Aldridge met twice with the Los Angeles Lakers, which is where he was assumed to be going for a short while until San Antonio jumped into the mix. He also entertained offers from the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, and Miami Heat.
San Antonio was able to re-sign Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Tony Parker. The Spurs were able to retain all these players plus make the cap room for Aldridge by trading away some of their players.
Gregg Popovich met with Aldridge in Los Angeles to pitch the Spurs to him. Sources told ESPN that Popovich’s main sales pitch to Aldridge was him being able to play with Tim Duncan in his final years in the NBA, and that he would become the Spurs anchor on the front line along with Leonard’s offensive potency now and after Duncan left.
Aldridge was sold after Duncan and Parker spoke with him in a second meeting, and Parker immediately welcomed him via Twitter.
The big question after this huge signing is, are the Spurs the team to beat in the Western Conference after the Aldridge signing?
The Spurs starting lineup will most likely be Parker, Green, Leonard, Aldridge, and Duncan, which should be a force to be reckoned with because they have the ability to spread the floor with Green and Leonard, they have one of the best facilitators in Parker, and they will be able to control the paint with the big bodies of Aldridge and Duncan.
I realize that Duncan is entering his 19th season, but there is just something about the way he plays. He may not be the biggest or fastest player on the court, but he finds a way to score and win.
Aldridge now gives them an athletic big that can cover the perimeter, which will make him that much more of a threat against the Golden State Warriors, who tend to play a smaller lineup.
I think the Spurs are going to contend in the West because of this signing, but I am just not completely sold on their roster because of their age. Although, I have said that in the past and they have completely proved me wrong, and I have a feeling they will end up doing that again this season.
I think that it will come down to the Spurs and Warriors for the Western Conference crown, and I think that the Spurs will be able to beat the Warriors because of their new found athletic big and their vast experience in the playoffs. All that I know is I will be rooting for the Spurs over the Warriors because they vested my Cleveland Cavaliers in this year’s NBA Finals.