Looking to the Future: Should the Spurs Trade LaMarcus Aldridge?

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It’s been a hugely disappointing season for the Spurs so far, although LeMarcus Aldridge’s performance against the Grizzlies on December 23rd did provide some much needed respite for the long-suffering San Antonio fans. The 34-year-old rolled back the years with a sensational performance in which he dropped a game-high 40 points. He taunted the hosts in their own backyard, scoring 22 points in the first quarter as well as causing continuous problems for the beleagured Grizzlies defense.

Coach Gregg Popovich has struggled to get a tune out of his side this season, although this was by far their most accomplished performance in the last twelve months. LaMarcus Aldridge will get the majority of the headlines for his swashbuckling display, although DeMar DeRozan also caught the eye at the FedExForum.

Aldridge has previously spoken about his desire to return to Portland with the power forward heavily rumored to be leaving San Antonio in the near future. He would give the trail blazers another scoring option whilst helping to create some much-needed space on the Spurs’ payroll. His sporadic match-winning performances have provided the fans with some much-needed cheer this season, however many supporters would agree that his $26 million salary could be better spent elsewhere. He’s dropped over 30 points on just three occasions this year, which is a hugely disappointing return for a seven-time NBA All-Star.

The Spurs have struggled for a number of seasons and are currently 40/1 in the latest NBA betting to finish top of the Western Conference. Their inconsistent performances may have pretty much ruled them out of contention although their performance against the Grizzlies hinted at a brighter future. Some analysts have suggested that San Antonio must simply start again and build for the future, a process which could only begin once they’ve managed to shift the majority of their big earners.

The Spurs defense will need a complete overhaul whilst offensive prospects such as Luka Samanic and Jakob Poeltl are certainly players who could offer something different at the other end of the court. The pair would provide a far more dynamic combination with the latter having already featured on a number of occasions. He has received plenty of plaudits for his recent cameos and will surely be one of the key players in San Antonio next season. Dejounte Murray is another prodigious talent, although his minutes have been limited following his rigorous rehab. The 23-year-old is already averaging around 13 points per game which has helped him become a fan favorite, and they are understandably looking forward to seeing far more of him in the near future.

Another phase of the franchise awaits and bringing through young, hungry and less expensive players is a route that the hierarchy are likely to explore over the next couple of seasons.

Although his experience will be missed, the majority of fans would accept LaMarcus Aldridge’s trade in exchange for a little more consistency next season. He has a tremendous history in the NBA and is still very capable of the occasional show-stopping performance. However, he has failed to deliver on a consistent basis in San Antonio and a decision must be made on his future. They could do far worse than offload the forward and use his sizeable wage to strengthen elsewhere.

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