All-Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge is probably the biggest available free agent on the market this summer (with shouts to Kevin Love and Marc Gasol, or Dwyane Wade if he opts to test the waters). And while his current team, the Portland Trail Blazers, remain confident that he’ll re-sign, according to one report the most likely team to pry LA away could be the Dallas Mavericks.
From Ric Bucher for Bleacher Report:
Aldridge did not respond to messages seeking comment, nor did Blazers GM Neil Olshey. But sources from both sides of their relationship confirmed two significant points: First, Aldridge isn’t feeling the same way he did last summer when he publicly stated his intention of signing an extension with the Blazers this summer; second, there isn’t a clear-cut better situation for him than what he has in Portland.
Of his potential suitors, league sources indicate that the Mavericks are the biggest threat to pull Aldridge away from the Blazers, but it’s the general idea of returning to Texas, not a specific destination, that appeals to him. Both the Mavericks and Spurs, of course, could have the requisite cap space, reputation of success and location.
Both also may not be perfect fits. Several sources have indicated that the Spurs, for whatever reason, are either off his list or not very high on it. And the question concerning Dallas is: Does an aging Dirk Nowitzki truly give him a better chance of competing for a title? Dallas, sources say, is clearly interested, but where he sits on its priority list is not clear.
“LaMarcus feels, as all great players do, that wherever he goes he’ll have a great chance,” a source familiar with his thinking said. “But don’t think about this as what makes the most sense. He feels he’s been in Portland a long time and that maybe it’s time for a change. That’s what is driving this.”