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Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat favored to land LaMarcus Aldridge

Jan 24, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots in front of Washington Wizards center Robin Lopez (15) in the first half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely to be active ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. Meanwhile, their opponent in the 2020 NBA Finals, the Miami Heat, have their hands everywhere.

It’s an interesting backdrop as contending teams shuffle their decks ahead of the stretch run. This could also include both Miami and Los Angeles vying for the same All-Star.

Let us explain. Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been away from the San Antonio Spurs as the two sides work on a divorce. San Antonio has been attempting to trade the seven-time All-Star. That now looks unlikely with less than 24 hours to go ahead of the deadline.

According to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning news, it looks like the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat are favored to land LaMarcus Aldridge should he hit the buyout market.

“I’m hearing (Andrew) Drummond is going to land in Los Angeles (Lakers) and Aldridge will be the starting center for either Miami, the Lakers. Brooklyn’s in the hunt for both,” Townsend reported on Wednesday.

We already focused on the possibility that Andre Drummond lands with the Lakers once he’s officially bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers following the NBA trade deadline. Meanwhile, the Heat’s interest in Aldridge has been bandied about for some time.

Read More: NBA trade rumors: Latest updates leading up to the March 25 deadline

Why LaMarcus Aldridge makes sense for the Los Angeles Lakers

LaMarcus Aldridge, Los Angeles Lakers
Jan 27, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in huddle with starters before the game against the Boston Celtics at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

By now, it’s well known that both Anthony Davis (Achilles’) and LeBron James (high-ankle sprain) are sidelined for the defending champs. While Davis could be back at some point soon, James is looking at an indefinite absence.

Los Angeles finds itself at 28-16 on the season and as the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Prior to these injuries popping up, the Lakers were a resounding 21-6. They have now lost 10 of 17.

Sneaking into the playoffs as a bottom-four seed in the Western Conference would be a less-than-ideal scenario for this squad. That’s magnified by the fact multiple teams hosting first-round playoff series will likely see a nice amount of fans in attendance due to the upswing of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. This is much different than the Orlando Bubble last season when the Los Angeles Lakers won the title without any home-court advantage.

From an on-court perspective, the Los Angeles Lakers would end up being the winners of the trade season by adding both LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Drummond to the mix.

They have had some issues in the low-post, especially with Davis going through an injury-plagued season. Mixing those two in with AD, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell would be huge for Los Angeles moving forward.

Read More: Miami Heat trade targets: 3 key players who could fix the team’s remaining issues

The Miami Heat seem to be in on everyone

Kyle Lowry trade, Miami Heat
Dec 29, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) stretches before start of game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Most recently, reports suggest that Miami is a finalist to land six-time Toronto Raptors All-Star guard Kyle Lowry. The team has been chasing after him for the better part of the past decade, and something could soon come to fruition on that end.

We’ve already read a ton of Heat rumors suggesting that Houston Rockets star two-guard Victor Oladipo could be headed to South Beach.

With that said, Miami might now be looking at the buyout market as an alternative to pulling off another trade after landing Trevor Ariza. There’s an obvious backdrop to all of this. The Heat will have cap room this coming summer to add these players in free agency without giving up assets.

Bringing in LaMarcus Aldridge would be an absolute boon for front office head Pat Riley and Co. He’s an immediate upgrade over Kelly Olynyk at power forward and can play multiple frontcourt positions.

Adding Aldridge without giving up assets would also allow the Miami Heat to be players in free agency this coming summer. It’s almost a no-brainer.