SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs announced on Wednesday that veteran power forward LaMarcus Aldridge is no longer with the team as San Antonio tipped off the second half of the 2020-21 regular season in Dallas.
Head coach Gregg Popovich said Aldridge is healthy, but the front office and Aldridge have “mutually agreed to work on some opportunities with him that will be elsewhere, so he won’t be with the team moving forward.”
Popovich added that Aldridge has been a great teammate and when the opportunity arises that’s in the best interest of both parties, “we’ll all move forward.”
“He’s done everything we’ve asked and at this point, we’d just like to do something that will work for him as much as for our club because he deserves that,” Popovich said.
Aldridge, 35, signed with the Spurs in the summer of 2015. At the time, Aldridge was considered to be one of the top free agents available after nine seasons and four consecutive All-Star appearances with Portland.
His signing was expected to help catapult the Spurs back to NBA title contention after San Antonio had been eliminated in the first round of the 2015 playoffs following back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals.
Aldridge performed at an All-Star level in his first season in San Antonio and helped the Spurs win 67 games during the regular season.
A year later, the Spurs won 61 games during the regular season and advanced to the 2017 Western Conference Finals.
However, it would be the furthest San Antonio would advance with Aldridge as one of the focal points of the roster.
His best season statistically in San Antonio was in 2018 when he averaged 23.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He had another productive season in 2019, but the Spurs failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs in both years.
Aldridge remained a focal part of the offense to begin last season, but did not play with the team after the NBA season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He remained in San Antonio after undergoing shoulder surgery.
His production and minutes dropped this season as the Spurs moved ahead with playing their younger players, and switched to an offense that no longer focused on Aldridge’s skill set. He was moved to the bench prior to the All-Star break.
This season, Aldridge is averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 21 games for San Antonio.
Aldridge was named to the Western Conference All-Star team three times during his six-year tenure with the Spurs.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Spurs are attempting to trade Aldridge before the March 25 trade deadline and have been engaged in discussions with other teams.