LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the top free agent players on the market this summer and teams like the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, Lakers, Boston Celtics and NY Knicks are potential options for the forward if he does not return to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Aldridge is hitting the market in the prime part of his career and is coming in after having one of his best seasons since he came into the NBA. League executives said to Marc Stein at ESPN that Aldridge as Kevin Love are the two players most likely to change teams in free agency and the latest reports have that as a likely outcome for Aldridge.
According to Pro Basketball Talk, Aldridge has told the Portland Trail Blazers that he is not signing back as a free agent, but the front office later came out to refute that report. Either way, Aldridge is going to get chased by teams on the free agent market and the Blazers likely will have to give Aldridge a max contact if they want him to stay in Portland. Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets are all reportedly interested in trying to convince Aldridge to sign.
Chris Broussard at ESPN reports that the Mavericks have the best chance to sign Aldridge, while the Rockets and Spurs are also appealing with Aldridge being a Texas native. Fox Sports reports that the Spurs are hoping to sit down with Aldridge this summer and that they remain in the mix to sign him even if Tim Duncan doesn't decide to retire this summer. The Celtics also could be in the mix, as they have a ton of cap space to spend and they reportedly are interested in Love, Aldridge and Greg Monroe as free agents.
The Blazers reportedly will try and keep both Aldridge and Wesley Matthews in free agency, but according to The Oregonian, general manager Neil Olshey is preparing backup plans if one or both players leave as free agents. Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports reports that the Blazers are a "dark horse" option for Love and that they could go after him hard if Aldridge leaves in free agency. Love is from the Pacific Northwest and could be open to signing with the Blazers if Aldridge goes elsewhere.
The Lakers and Knicks are both going to go after Aldridge and at this point reports have Los Angeles as the more likely option if he picks between those teams. The Lakers have better young talent than the Knicks and Aldridge could be a part of a new core after the team drafted D'Angelo Russell and LA is also expected to go after Rajon Rondo, Goran Dragic and Monta Ellis this summer.
The Texas teams are all in contention for Aldridge and the Spurs could surprise the league by going after Aldridge with a max contract. The team has to sign back Kawhi Leonard to a deal as a restricted free agent and the Spurs also have Danny Green hitting the market. The Spurs will be looking to be active if Duncan hangs things up and Aldridge is the top target, as Marc Gasol is expected to stay in Memphis with the Grizzlies.