SAN ANTONIO – After more than five seasons in San Antonio, veteran power forward LaMarcus Aldridge will be playing for a new team in the near future.
The Spurs announced on Thursday afternoon they had come to a buyout agreement with Aldridge after the organization was unable to trade him before the deadline.
Aldridge was expected to sign with the Miami Heat once the buyout was finalized, but reportedly will have interest from many teams including Portland and the Lakers.
The Athletic’s NBA insider Shams Charania reported Aldridge gave back $7.25 million of his remaining deal, which allows San Antonio to possibly add another player to its roster and stay under the luxury tax line.
JUST IN: Spurs officially announce they have reached buyout agreement with LaMarcus Aldridge.— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) March 25, 2021
Aldridge averaged 19.5 points, 8 rebs and 1.2 blocks in five-plus seasons with Spurs and was named to the NBA All-Star team three times in San Antonio. #KSATsports #NBA #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/rFBEPL11I4
Spurs and LaMarcus Aldridge reach buyout agreement.— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 25, 2021
Aldridge appeared in a total of 376 games for the Spurs and averaged 19.5 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.25 blocks for San Antonio. Aldridge was named to the All-NBA team twice (2016, 2018) and an NBA All-Star team three times (2016, 2018, 2019) while in San Antonio.
The Spurs signed Aldridge on July 4, 2015. He became one of six players in San Antonio history to record at least 7,000 points and 3,000 rebounds, joining Spurs legends David Robinson, Tim Duncan, George Gervin, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
While the Spurs were not able to trade Aldridge, they made a deal with the Golden State Warriors before the deadline.
San Antonio reportedly traded for forward Marquese Chriss, however, the third-year player was injured earlier this year and has been ruled out for the season. Chriss played in only two games this season and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer so he may never see game action for San Antonio. Chriss is a former college teammate of Dejounte Murray.
San Antonio sent Cady Lalanne, a 2015 second-round draft pick, to the Warriors and received some cash compensation. Lalanne has never played a game for San Antonio and the trade was mostly seen as an effort to clear up a roster spot for the Warriors.
The other veteran Spurs players with expiring contracts were rumored to be on the trading block, but DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay and Trey Lyles all appear to be staying put.
With no agreement on a contract extension in place, DeRozan is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Spurs are projected to have the cap space to re-sign DeRozan, but other teams will be in the mix.
One of the primary reasons San Antonio did not rush to make any significant deadline trades was they likely did not want to sacrifice their cap space this summer. They are projected to have around $50 million in cap space and are shedding $85 million worth of contracts with the expiring deals of Aldridge, DeRozan, Gay, Patty Mills and Trey Lyles.
Lyles was reportedly set to be traded to Dallas, but the deal never materialized.
Mills and DeRozan are the two likeliest players of the group to be re-signed this summer. San Antonio was reportedly in the running to trade for Orlando All-Star center Nikola Vucevic, but the Magic traded him to Chicago by early Thursday.
San Antonio is currently the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.