The Brooklyn Nets are swooping in to sign All-Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge, beating out the Miami Heat and other NBA title contenders who were in the hunt to sign him.
Aldridge and the San Antonio Spurs agreed to part ways on March 10, with the organization intending to trade the star forward. But after being unable to move him before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, San Antonio agreed to a buyout with Aldridge and he immediately became a free agent.
Upon his release, the Heat were viewed as the favorites to land him. Miami already acquired Victor Oladipo and Nemanja Bjelica, but many NBA executives were confident Aldridge would head to South Beach. Instead, the 35-year-old will be joining Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported, that Aldridge plans to sign a contract with the Nets. It will be Brooklyn’s second big addition on the buyout market and the club still has another open roster spot. The contract is for the veteran’s minimum, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Examining Brooklyn Nets lineup with Aldridge, Blake Griffin
The move comes just three weeks after the Nets signed Blake Griffin. Since joining Brooklyn, the 6-foot-9 power forward has played in three games and made one start. He is currently averaging fewer than 20 minutes per game, but is shooting 64.3% from the field and providing some scoring with Durant sidelined.
Durant, who remains out due to a strained left hamstring, is inching closer towards his return. The Nets have still been one of the hottest teams in the NBA despite his absence, riding an 8-2 record in their past 10 games. When the full collection of stars is healthy, Brooklyn’s rotation will get interesting.
San Antonio sifted Aldridge to center before the 2017-’18 season, but he has played both the five and four spots during his NBA career. Joining a roster with Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, he will likely see time at forward and center.
Aldridge, a seven-time All-Star selection, should do fairly well in a rotational role. But his final season in San Antonio proved that his best days are long behind him.
The Nets were among the favorites to sign All-Star center Andre Drummond. Following this signing, he’ll likely be choosing between the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.